US buys Iranian heavy water as part of nuke deal


WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is buying 32 metric tons of Iranian heavy water, a key component for one kind of nuclear reactor, under the terms of last year’s landmark nuclear deal.

The State Department said a sales agreement would be signed on Friday at a meeting in Vienna of officials from the six countries that negotiated the deal. Terms of the sale, under which the Energy Department will buy the Iranian heavy water from a subsidiary of the U.N. atomic watchdog, were not disclosed. Heavy water is not radioactive but has research and medical applications and can also be used to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

The department said the heavy water will be stored at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and then resold on the commercial market for research purposes.