File - Iran's heavy water nuclear facility near the central city of Arak is backdropped by mountains in this file photo dated Jan. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/ISNA, Hamid Foroutan)
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Iran is prepared to modify its planned Arak heavy water reactor to help allay Western concerns, its nuclear energy chief said in published remarks that could be the first such suggestion by a senior Iranian official.Western powers, preparing for negotiations with Iran on a long-term deal defining the scope of its disputed nuclear programme, fear Arak could provide a supply of plutonium -- one of two materials, along with highly enriched uranium, that can be used for the core of a nuclear weapon -- once operational. In an interview with Iran's state-run Press TV, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, did not spell out how any changes could be made to the Arak plant.Iran already has built a heavy-water production plant that is to be linked to the still unfinished reactor.
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