F. Uranium Conversion and Fuel Fabrication
32. Although it is obliged to suspend all enrichment related activities and heavy water related projects, Iran is conducting a number of activities at UCF and the Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP) at Esfahanwhich, as described below, are in contravention of those obligations, although both facilities are underAgency safeguards.
33. Uranium Conversion Facility: On 18 October 2011, the Agency carried out a DIV at UCF duringwhich the Agency observed the ongoing installation of the process equipment for the conversion of UF6enriched up to 20% U-235 into U3O8. During the DIV, Iran informed the Agency that the initial tests of this conversion line, originally scheduled to start on 6 September 2011, had been postponed and would notinvolve the use of nuclear material.
34. As previously reported, Iran informed the Agency in July 2011 that it would start R&D activities at UCF for the conversion of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235 into UO2. During the aforementioned DIV, Iran informed the Agency that 6.8 kg of DU in the form of UF6 had been processed and that Iran had produced 113 g of uranium in the form of UO2 that met its specifications. According to Iran, this UO2 has been sentto FMP to produce test pellets. Iran has also started using UF6 enriched to 3.34% U-235 to produce UO2. During the DIV, Iran further informed the Agency that this UO2 would also be sent to FMP to produce fuel pellets, which would then be sent to TRR for “performance test studies”.
35. In a letter dated 4 October 2011, Iran informed the Agency of the postponement of the production of natural UF6, involving the use of uranium ore concentrate (UOC) produced at the Bandar Abbas Uranium Production Plant, originally scheduled to restart on 23 October 2011. In a letter dated 11 October 2011, Iran informed the Agency that, from 11 November 2011, it intended to use UOC produced at the Bandar Abbas Uranium Production Plant for the production of natural uranium in the form of UO2. During the DIV on 18 October 2011, the Agency took a sample of this UOC. During the same DIV, Iran informed the Agency that, since 23 July 2011, it had fed into the process 958.7 kg of uranium in the form of UOC31 and produced about 185.6 kg of natural uranium in the form of UO2, and further indicated that some of the product had been fed back into the process. In a letter dated 8 October 2011, Iran informed the Agency that it had transferred about 1 kg of this UO2 to the R&D section of FMP in order to “conduct research activities and pellet fabrication”.
36. Fuel Manufacturing Plant: As previously reported, in a DIQ for FMP dated 31 May 2011, Iran informed the Agency that a fresh fuel rod of natural UO2 manufactured at FMP would be shipped to TRR for irradiation and post-irradiation analysis. On 15 October 2011, the Agency carried out an inspection anda DIV at TRR and confirmed that, on 23 August 2011, Iran had started to irradiate a prototype fuel rod containing natural UO2 that had been manufactured at FMP. In a letter dated 30 August 2011, Iran informed the Agency that “for the time being” it had no plans to conduct any destructive testing on the rodand that only non-destructive testing would be conducted at TRR.
37. On 22 October 2011, the Agency carried out an inspection and a DIV at FMP and confirmed that Iranhad started to install some equipment for the fabrication of fuel for TRR.32 During the inspection, the Agency verified five fuel plates containing natural U3O8 that had been produced at the R&D laboratory at FMP for testing purposes.