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2011 Report | C

C. Enrichment Related Activities

7. Contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has notsuspended its enrichment related activities in the following declared facilities, all of which arenevertheless under Agency safeguards.

 

C.1. Natanz: Fuel Enrichment Plant and Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant

8. Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP): There are two cascade halls at FEP: Production Hall A and Production Hall B. According to the design information submitted by Iran, eight units are planned for Production Hall A, with 18 cascades in each unit. No detailed design information has yet been providedfor Production Hall B.

9. As of 2 November 2011, 54 cascades were installed in three of the eight units in Production Hall A,37 of which were declared by Iran as being fed with UF6.8 Whereas initially each installed cascadecomprised 164 centrifuges, Iran has subsequently modified 15 of the cascades to contain 174 centrifuges each.  To date, all the centrifuges installed are IR-1 machines. As of 2 November 2011, installation work inthe remaining five units was ongoing, but no centrifuges had been installed, and there had been noinstallation work in Production Hall B.

10. Between 15 October and 8 November 2011, the Agency conducted a physical inventory verification(PIV) at FEP, the results of which the Agency is currently evaluating.

11. Iran has estimated that, between 18 October 2010 and 1 November 2011, it produced 1787 kg of lowenriched UF6, which would result in a total production of 4922 kg of low enriched UF6 since productionbegan in February 2007.9 The nuclear material at FEP (including the feed, product and tails), as well as allinstalled cascades and the feed and withdrawal stations, are subject to Agency containment and surveillance.10 The consequences for safeguards of the seal breakage in the feed and withdrawal area11 will be evaluated by the Agency upon completion of its assessment of the PIV.

12. Based on the results of the analysis of environmental samples taken at FEP since February 200712and other verification activities, the Agency has concluded that the facility has operated as declared by Iran in the Design Information Questionnaire (DIQ).

13. Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP): PFEP is a research and development (R&D) facility, and a pilot low enriched uranium (LEU) production facility, which was first brought into operation in October 2003. It has a cascade hall that can accommodate six cascades, and is divided between an area designated for the production of LEU enriched up to 20% U-235 (Cascades 1 and 6) and an areadesignated for R&D (Cascades 2, 3, 4 and 5).

14. In the production area, Iran first began feeding low enriched UF6 into Cascade 1 on 9 February 2010,for the stated purpose of producing UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235 for use in the manufacture of fuel forthe Tehran Research Reactor (TRR). 13,14 Since 13 July 2010, Iran has been feeding low enriched UF6 into two inter connected cascades (Cascades 1 and 6), each of which consists of 164 IR-1 centrifuges.15

15. Between 13 and 29 September 2011, the Agency conducted a PIV at PFEP and verified that, as of13 September 2011, 720.8 kg of low enriched UF6 had been fed into the cascade(s) in the production areasince the process began on 9 February 2010, and that a total of  73.7 kg of UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235had been produced.  The Agency is continuing with its assessment of the results of the PIV. Iran hasestimated that, between 14 September 2011 and 28 October 2011, a total of 44.7 kg of UF6 enriched atFEP was fed into the two interconnected cascades and that approximately 6 kg of UF6 enriched up to 20%U-235 were produced.

16. The preliminary results of the PIV show an improvement to the operator’s weighing system. Once the assessment of the PIV has been completed, the Agency will be able to determine whether the operator’s better sampling procedures have resulted in a more accurate determination of the level of U-235enrichment.16

17. In the R&D area, as of 22 October 2011, Iran had installed 164 IR-2m centrifuges in Cascade 5,17 all of which were under vacuum, and 66 IR-4 centrifuges in Cascade 4, none of which had been fed with UF6.In Cascades 2 and 3, Iran has been feeding natural UF6 into single machines, 10-machine cascades and20-machine cascades of IR-1, IR-2m and IR-4 centrifuges.

18. Between 21 August 2011 and 28 October 2011, a total of approximately 59.8 kg of natural UF6 wasfed into centrifuges in the R&D area, but no LEU was withdrawn as the product and the tails are recombined at the end of the process.

19. Based on the results of the analysis of the environmental samples taken at PFEP18 and otherverification activities, the Agency has concluded that the facility has operated as declared by Iran in theDIQ.

 

C.2. Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant

20. In September 2009, Iran informed the Agency that it was constructing the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP), located near the city of Qom. In its DIQ of 10 October 2009, Iran stated that the purpose of the facility was the production of  UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235, and that the facility was being built tocontain 16 cascades, with a total of approximately 3000 centrifuges.19

21. In September 2010, Iran provided the Agency with a revised DIQ in which it stated that the purpose of FFEP was to include R&D as well as the production of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235.

22. As previously reported, Iran provided the Agency with another revised DIQ in June 2011 in which the stated purpose of FFEP was the production of UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235, as well as R&D. Iraninformed the Agency that initially this production would take place within two sets of two interconnectedcascades, and that each of these cascades would consist of 174 centrifuges. Iran was reported to have decided to “triple its (production) capacity”, after which Iran would stop the “20% fuel production” at Natanz.20

23. On 17 October 2011, as anticipated in its letter to the Agency dated 11 October 2011, Iran transferred from FEP to FFEP one large cylinder containing LEU in the form of UF6 and one small cylinder containing depleted uranium (DU) in the form of UF6. According to Iran, the LEU will be used for feedingand the DU will be used for line passivation. On 24 October 2011, the Agency detached the seal on the cylinder containing the DU, and the cylinder was immobilized at the feeding station. At the request of Iran, the Agency will detach the seal on the cylinder containing the LEU on 8 November 2011, and the cylinder will be immobilized at the feeding station.

24. During an inspection on 23 and 24 October 2011, the Agency verified that Iran had installed all 174 centrifuges in each of two cascades, neither of which had been connected to the cooling and electricallines, and had installed 64 centrifuges in a third cascade. To date, all the centrifuges installed are IR-1machines. Iran informed the Agency that the main power supply had been connected to the facility. No centrifuges had been installed in the area designated for R&D purposes.

25. The Agency continues to verify that FFEP is being constructed according to the latest DIQ providedby Iran.  As previously reported, although Iran has provided some clarification regarding the initial timingof, and circumstances relating to, its decision to build FFEP at an existing defence establishment, additional information from Iran is still needed in connection with this facility.21

26. The results of the analysis of the environmental samples taken at FFEP up to 27 April 2011 did notindicate the presence of enriched uranium.22

 

C.3. Other Enrichment Related Activities

27. The Agency is still awaiting a substantive response from Iran to Agency requests for further information in relation to announcements made by Iran concerning the construction of ten new uranium enrichment facilities, the sites for five of which, according to Iran, have been decided, and the construction of one of which was to have begun by the end of the last Iranian year (20 March 2011) or the start of thisIranian year.23,24 In August 2011, Dr Abbasi was reported as having said that Iran did not need to buildnew enrichment facilities during the next two years.25 Iran has not provided information, as requested bythe Agency in its letter of 18 August 2010, in connection with its announcement on 7 February 2010 that it possessed laser enrichment technology.26 As a result of Iran’s lack of cooperation on those issues, theAgency is unable to verify and report fully on these matters.

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One comment on “2011 Report | C

  1. […] Iran clandestinely building an enrichment facility near the city of Qom […]

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