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2012 Report | Uranium Conversion and Fuel Fabrication, Possible Military Dimensions

G. Uranium Conversion and Fuel Fabrication

33. Although it is obliged to suspend all enrichment related activities and heavy water related projects, Iranis conducting a number of activities at UCF and the Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP) at Esfahan which, asdescribed below, are in contravention of those obligations, although both facilities are under Agency safeguards.

34. Uranium Conversion Facility: On 17 December 2011, Iran started converting UF6 enriched up to 20%U-235 into U3O8. As of 19 February 2012, the Agency had verified that 8 kg of uranium in the form of U3O8had been producedand that 7.3 kg of uranium in the form of U3O8 had been subsequently transferred toFMP.

35. As previously reported, Iran started converting UF6 enriched up to 3.34% U-235 into UO2.35 As of19 February 2012, the Agency verified that Iran had produced 24 kg of uranium in the form of UO2and that13.6 kg of uranium in the form of UO2 had been subsequently transferred to FMP.

36. On 19 February 2012, the Agency verified that Iran had produced about 896.5 kg of natural uranium inthe form of UO2. The Agency has verified that Iran has transferred144.3 kg of uranium in the form of UO2 toFMP.

37. Fuel Manufacturing Plant: Since the Director General’s previous report, Iran has worked towards the production of two types of fuel assembly at FMP for use in TRR (see paragraph 48 below):

  • Assemblies made of fuel plates containing U3O8: On 14 November and 19 November 2011, the Agency verified two fuel plates containing natural U3O8 that had been produced at the R&D laboratoryat FMP;36on 3 January 2012, the Agency verified a fuel plate containing U3O8 enriched up to 20%U-235; and on 1 February 2012, the Agency verified a fuel assembly consisting of 14 fuel platescontaining U3O8 enriched up to 20% U-235.
  • Assemblies made of 12 fuel rods containing UO2 enriched up to 3.34% U-235: The Agency verifiedone fuel assembly on 26 November 2011 and another one on 22 December 2011.

All of the aforementioned fuel plates and fuel assemblies were subsequently transferred by Iran to TRR for irradiation testing.

38. In a letter dated 8 February 2012, Iran informed the Agency of its intention to “start pellet, fuel rod and fuel assembly production” on 12 February 2012 using natural UO2, in order to produce fuel for the IR-40Reactor. During a DIV carried out on 18 February 2012, the Agency observed that the fabrication of pelletsfor the IR-40 Reactor had started.

39. In a letter to Iran dated 6 January 2012, the Agency pointed out that an appropriate safeguards approach relating to the U3O8 fuel manufacturing line was not yet in place at FMP. However, notwithstanding theabsence of the safeguards approach, it proved possible on this occasion, as confirmed during an inspectioncarried out at FMP on 18-19 February 2012, for the Agency to account for all of the nuclear material in theU3O8 fuel manufacturing line. The Agency is now discussing with Iran a new safeguards approach for FMP.

 

H. Possible Military Dimensions

40. Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these.37 Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of anuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information.

41. The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65) provided a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency indicating that Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. This information, which comes from a widevariety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own effortsand from information provided by Iran itself, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that: prior to the end of 2003 the activities took place under a structured programme; that some continued after 2003; and that some may still be ongoing.

42. In resolution 1929 (2010), the Security Council reaffirmed Iran’s obligations to take the steps requiredby the Board of Governors in its resolutions GOV/2006/14 and GOV/2009/82, and to cooperate fully withthe Agency on all outstanding issues, particularly those which give rise to concerns about the possiblemilitary dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme, including by providing access without delay to all sites,equipment, persons and documents requested by the Agency.38 In its resolution GOV/2011/69 of18 November 2011, the Board of Governors, inter alia, expressed its deep and increasing concern about theunresolved issues regarding the Iranian nuclear programme, including those which need to be clarified to exclude the existence of possible military dimensions.

 

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