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Iran scales down plutonium production plans at its heavy water reactor

Iran is scaling down plutonium production plans at its partially built heavy-water reactor, saying the facility will make significantly smaller amounts of waste plutonium than what is required for the core of a nuclear weapon.

Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told the official IRNA news agency late Wednesday that instead of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) as initially planned, the Arak reactor will make less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds).

Salehi says this will involve redesigning the reactor, which is still under construction.

The change of plans is part of a deal that Iran is negotiating with world powers to ensure its nuclear program will not produce an atomic weapon, in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

The next round in the nuclear talks will be held next week.