The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization announced today, Thursday, that an accident occurred in a warehouse in a nuclear complex in Isfahan province, without causing any injuries or radiological contamination, according to the official IRNA news agency.
The Natanz fuel enrichment facility is one of several Iranian facilities that are subject to inspection by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization said earlier Thursday that an "accident" had occurred at the facility in the central province of Isfahan.
Behrouz Kamalundi, spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted by Tasnim News Agency as saying that the accident "did not result in human casualties or material damage, and work is continuing as usual at the nuclear site."
Ramadan Ali Ferdousi, governor of the city of Natanz, said later that the accident was caused by a fire, adding that firefighters were sent to the site. He did not provide details about the cause of the fire, Tasnim reported.
A team of IAEA experts is investigating the cause of the accident.
No radioactive materials
"There is no need to worry about the possibility of contamination because one of the roofed halls being constructed in the yard of the Natanz site was damaged, not the facility itself," Kamalundi told the IRNA news agency.
Kamalundi added that the compound located in central Iran "is not currently experiencing activity, which means that it is free of radioactive materials."
The spokesman did not clarify the nature of the accident, but said it had caused "some structural damage", but stressed that there was no risk of radioactive contamination.
Some experts did not rule out the possibility of sabotage due to the importance of the Natanz site.
"Given the fact that this alleged incident occurred a few days after the explosion near the Parchin military base, the possibility of sabotage cannot be ruled out," a former Iranian nuclear official told Reuters.
"The Natanz enrichment facility was previously subjected to cyberattack," he said, referring to a 2010 Stuxnet virus attack that damaged centrifuges, and it is widely believed that the United States and Israel were behind it.
An explosion took place east of Tehran last Friday near a sensitive military complex, and the authorities said that it was caused by a leak from a tank at a gas storage facility in a public area.
Western security services believe that Tehran conducted tests related to nuclear explosions more than a decade ago at the Parchin military base, which Iran denies.