The head of the Iraqi Radioactive Sources Regulatory Authority (IRSRA), Hussein Latif, revealed on Thursday that there is an international desire for Iraq to restore its position in nuclear science.
Latif announced the formation of a committee to build nuclear reactors for research purposes. He, told the national Iraqi News Agency (INA) that Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi "is aware of the importance of the issue of atomic energy", having discussed it in a recent meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Kadhimi is scheduled to visit France in mid-October, as part of a broad European tour. Observers do not rule out that reviving the Iraqi nuclear role will be present at Paris meetings.
France is among the most important countries that previously helped Iraq build nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes.
Latif added that Iraq is "looking forward to restoring its position in nuclear science, which it occupied in the 1970s and 1980s", highlighting a recent resolution by the UN Security Council in support of Iraq's renewed work in the nuclear field and its potential peaceful benefits.
The reactors will be able to help produce medical isotopes and pharmaceuticals, in addition to having agricultural and industrial applications such as seed irradiation, nuclear insect sterilization for pest control, and the production of radioactive isotopes with various industrial benefits, Latif explained.
Latif estimated the construction process for the reactor would take approximately five years. He added that the project would be a boon for Iraqi employment, providing training and work opportunities and help the oil-rich country move away from its dependency on fossil fuels for energy.
“This project will contribute to training Iraqi staff to work in nuclear reactors, as well as the accumulation of experience they have, which will enable them to operate power reactors in the future, as Iraq must move towards producing electricity with nuclear energy and reducing the burning of petroleum fuel,” Latif explained.