Plasma Physics Research Center

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Last Updated: August 23, 2013
Other Name: N/A
Location: Azad University, Tehran
Subordinate To: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)
Size: Two buildings, 8000 square meters
Facility Status: Operational

Established in 1994, the Plasma Physics Research Center at Azad University conducts research on atomic-molecular physics, solid state physics, fundamental particle physics and nuclear fusion. [1] The center operates a Chinese-supplied Tokamak fusion reactor designated Iran Tokamak 1 (IR-T1). In June 2010, Iran's FARS News Agency claimed that researchers at the center had achieved a "major breakthrough" in fusion technology regarding "a secure method to produce nuclear energy with the help of laser technology." [2] In an effort to circumvent international sanctions, Iran has also attempted to use the Plasma Physics Research Center to purchase sensitive materials. Because the center is an educational institution, at least on paper, states' export control systems would tend to look more favorably upon it as an end-user of dual-use materials. [3] Researchers from the PPRC are currently collaborating with counterparts from a variety of nations and organizations to investigate nuclear fusion as an energy source. [4]

[1] "About Us," Plasma Physics Research Center,
[2] "Major Breakthrough in Iran's N. Technology," FARS News Agency, 16 June 2010.
[3] Warren Hoge, "Iran Was Blocked from Buying Nuclear Materials at Least 75 Times, Group Says," The New York Times, 16 November 2007,
[4] Text of report in English by Iranian conservative news agency Mehr, "Iran joins research team for nuclear fusion project," BBC Monitoring Middle East, 23 July 2012; "Iran Is Working with a New Jersey Company to Develop a Whole Different Nuclear Program," Business Insider, 30 May 2012.

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