Iran has increased its capacity to enrich uranium by installing hundreds of new centrifuges, according to a new report by the U.N. nuclear watchdog. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has confirmed the installation of almost 700 IR-2 centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility since early 2013. Once functional, the advanced models can enrich uranium two or three times faster than the old centrifuges. But Iran has slowed the growth of its controversial 20 percent enriched uranium stockpile. Tehran now as 182 kilograms, still short of the minimum 240 kilograms needed for one bomb. It would have to further enrich the uranium to weapons-grade level.
The report also found that Iran has begun paving over Parchin, a former military site where nuclear-weapons-related experiments may have taken place. Tehran has also continued building a new heavy water research reactor at the Arak facility. Experts have warned that spent fuel from the reactor could be reprocessed into plutonium, which could be used for nuclear weapons. Iran has denied intentions to produce weapons and reportedly does not have the reprocessing plants required to produce plutonium. The IAEA was unable to confirm if Iran conducted experiments related to nuclear weapons development at the Parchin site. The following are excerpts from the U.N. report, with a link to the full text at the end.
Enrichment Related Activities
8. Contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities in the declared facilities referred to below. All of these activities are under Agency safeguards, and all of the nuclear material, installed cascades and the feed and withdrawal stations at those facilities are subject to Agency containment and surveillance.
9. Iran has stated that the purpose of enriching UF6 up to 5% U-235 is the production of fuel for its nuclear facilities and that the purpose of enriching UF6 up to 20% U-235 is the manufacture of fuel for research reactors.
10. Since Iran began enriching uranium at its declared facilities, it has produced at those facilities:
• 8960 kg (+689 kg since the Director General’s previous report) of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235, of which 6357 kg (+383 kg since the Director General’s previous report) remain in the form of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-23512 and the rest has been further processed…
• 324 kg (+44 kg since the Director General’s previous report) of UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235, of which 182 kg (+15 kg since the Director General’s previous report) remain in the form of UF6 enriched up to 20% U-23514 and the rest has been further processed…
Possible Military Dimensions
50. 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. 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 a nuclear payload for a missile. Iran has dismissed the Agency’s concerns, largely on the grounds that Iran considers them to be based on unfounded allegations...
67. While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, as Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.
68. Iran continues not to implement modified Code 3.1 of its Subsidiary Arrangements General Part, notwithstanding statements it has made in relation to the construction of new research reactors, new uranium enrichment facilities and new power reactors. Moreover, the lack of up to date design information on the IR-40 Reactor is having an increasingly adverse impact on the Agency’s ability to effectively verify the design of the facility and to implement an effective safeguards approach.
69. Contrary to the Board resolutions of November 2011 and September 2012 and despite the intensified dialogue between the Agency and Iran since January 2012 in ten rounds of talks, it has not been possible to reach agreement on the structured approach document. Given the nature and extent of credible information available to the Agency about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme, the Agency considers it essential and urgent for Iran to engage with it on the substance of the Agency’s concerns. Unless Iran addresses the Agency’s requirement to conduct effective verification, it will not be possible for the Agency to resolve outstanding issues, including those relating to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.
70. The extensive and significant activities which have taken place since February 2012 at the location within the Parchin site to which the Agency has repeatedly requested access have seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to undertake effective verification. The Agency reiterates its request that Iran, without further delay, provide substantive answers to the Agency’s detailed questions regarding Parchin and the foreign expert, and provide access to the aforementioned location.
71. The Director General continues to urge Iran to fully implement its Safeguards Agreement and its other obligations and to engage with the Agency to achieve concrete results on all outstanding substantive issues, as required in the binding resolutions of the Board of Governors and the mandatory Security Council resolutions.