A brief introduction to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
    Initial interest regarding the development of nuclear energy in Iran goes back to half a century ago. The main reason for such an approach in that time was mostly attributed to the amazing progress of the industrial countries in the successful application of this technology. In the middle of 1950s decade, the University of Tehran initiated the first order for purchasing the equipment needed for nuclear research and educational activities from abroad.
One year later, the nuclear center of the University of Tehran was established and through the operation of the Tehran five megawatt research reactor in 1967, the foundation of Iran’s nuclear science and technology was laid down.
With the establishment of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in 1974, and the subsequent transfer of Tehran university atomic center to this organ, the mission and functions related to the nuclear technology development, particularly regarding electricity production in the country was allocated to this organization.
Article one (1) of the Atomic Energy Organization founding law (statute), approved in 1974, states the main purpose of its establishment, as to utilize radiation and nuclear energy in industries, agriculture and services to establish nuclear power plant and desalination facilities to convert salt water, production of raw material required for nuclear industries,establish needed scientific, technological infrastructure for implementation of above projects as well as coordination and monitoring over all matters related to the country’s nuclear energy. Detailed description of the above activities in stated in article 3 of the organization’s laws.
In the years remaining up to the victory of the Islamic revolution (around 4 years), the agenda of the organization aimed at the establishment of a 20000 Megawatt nuclear power plant for production of electricity. Based on this objective, numerous contracts were signed for the establishment of power plants and consequent access to nuclear fuel.
The subsequent follow up of such a process resulted in the rapid expansion of the organization. In addition to this trend, the scientific and technological support of this technology also started mainly with the backing of powerful nuclear countries.
Upon the success of the Islamic revolution and due to the special prevailing conditions in the country resulting from the chaotic situation in the beginning of the uprising, foreign sources as well as some domestic elements, engaged in a negative propaganda campaign against the country’s nuclear program.
All these events culminated in a situation that until the beginning of 1983 no specific action was adopted for restarting the plans to follow up the dominant nuclear technology programs.
The affairs of the organization, before the Islamic Revolution, were conducted under the direct supervision of the then prime minister’s office, and during this period were turned over to the deputy section of the Ministry of Energy.
Finally, in the last ministerial board meeting in February 1982, the independent status of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran was again approved by the government.
In this way, the country’s senior policy makers, having passed through the preliminary challenges of the revolution’s initial phase, decided on adopting new and determined steps towards further access of the country to nuclear technology.
In spite of the fact, that the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran after 1982, has witnessed different organizational phases and policy planning,  the common base of all such developments have emphasized on developing the application of peaceful nuclear technology and, as a result, extension of related research which in the most difficult condition , remained as the AEOI main responsibility.
In the years passed, the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran has been engaged in the construction of many sites and organizational unites in the country in order to provide development of native domestic accessibility to nuclear technology and science.
Such endeavors have resulted in the establishment of specialized and engineering companies in different activities of the organization as well as creation of nuclear technology and research centers aimed at the development and expansion of research activities in the field of nuclear technology.
At present, the main activities of the AEOI are as the following:
ü Design, construction and operation of the nuclear power plants
ü Nuclear fuel cycle
ü Construction operation of research reactors of both fission and fusion types
ü Research activities aiming at the development of irradiation application in industries, agriculture and medical fields
ü Monitoring of safely conducted nuclear activity in the country through the     Iran Nuclear Regulatory Authority (INRA)
The detailed information concerning each of the topics above are found in the related specific page of each subject.
Final words:
Nowadays, energy is considered as the inalienable part of human life in modern industrial Societies.
The ability of each country or society in the production of energy and the manner
To use it, is an important criterion in assessing the degree of its progress.
Electrical energy enjoys a particular and unique position in this regard, as compared to other various forms of energy, which is due to its cleanness, easy consumption and possibility of conversion to other types of energy.
One of the ways for the provision of assured electricity and achieving stability for proper supply of electricity is to create diversity and have variety in its production including the use of nuclear power plants.
The Islamic republic of Iran as a progressive country among the developing countries, due to different reasons such as, need for energy development plans, acquiring advanced technology, creating diversity for supplying safe energy, production of clean energy, environmental consideration and economic-technical advantages, has considered the development of nuclear power plant as a necessity and requirement for the long term energy provision programs.
The country’s legal requirements (laws passed) have also required the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to deploy the operation of nuclear power plants for realizing the long term objective for producing 20000 Megawatt electricity in the years to come.
Considering this fact, the AEOI has compiled long term programs for the development of nuclear fuel cycle and related research activities in its agenda and plan of action.