In DepthNuclear Diplomacy

Iran nuclear deal holds ‘goodies’ for scientists

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Science  24 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6246, pp. 356-357
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6246.356

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When Iran agreed last week to dismantle large chunks of its nuclear infrastructure, it won more than the promise of relief from crippling economic sanctions. If the agreement survives strong opposition in the U.S. Congress, Iran can expect a rapid expansion of scientific cooperation with Western powers. As its nuclear facilities are repurposed, scientists from Iran and abroad will team up in areas such as nuclear fusion, astrophysics, and radioisotopes for cancer therapy. Some scientific activity will take place at the Fordow uranium enrichment facility, which Iran will convert into an international nuclear, physics, and technology center. Russia will help reconfigure 348 centrifuges there to produce stable isotopes for industry. And Fordow may host a small linear accelerator for basic research in nuclear physics and astrophysics. Iran has agreed to invite proposals for collaborative projects at Fordow and hold an international workshop to review them.