Calculating Output of the New Iranian Uranium Enrichment Plant

On Friday, President Obama announced that the United States knows of a new, undeclared, and hidden underground gas-centrifuge uranium enrichment facility in Iran, near the city of Qom.  Some news reports suggest that 3000 centrifuges will be housed there.  How significant is this discovery?  Well, just in time, our crack FAS researcher, Ivanka Barzashka, has posted on the FAS website a calculator to help you answer questions just like that.

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A.Q. Khan Discusses Pakistan’s Nuclear Program

Pakistan was ready to test a nuclear weapon just six years after it first began to enrich uranium, according to A.Q. Khan, the architect of the Pakistani nuclear program and an infamous proliferator of nuclear weapons designs and technology. “It was 6 April 1978 when we achieved our first centrifugal enrichment of uranium,” Khan recalled in a chatty, wide-ranging interview with Pakistani television (pdf) last week. “We had achieved 90 percent [enrichment] by early 1983.” […]

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Increased Safeguards at Natanz: What Does It All Mean?

by Ivanka Barzashka and Ivan Oelrich A much anticipated IAEA report on Iran’s nuclear activities was leaked today.  The report indicates that, among other things, Iran has conceded to additional safeguard at Natanz.  This is a welcome development but occurring amidst a contested Iranian election, European threats of increased sanctions, continuing oblique hints of Israeli military action, and US talk of cutting off Iranian gasoline imports if nuclear talks are rejected.  How important are these […]

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Iran’s Fuel Fabrication: Step closer to energy independence or a bomb?

By Ivanka Barzashka and Ivan Oelrich Yesterday, on Iran’s national Nuclear Technology Day, President Ahmadinejad announced the country’s latest nuclear advances, which seem to have become an important source of national pride and international rancor. April 9 marks the day when Iran claimed to have enriched its first batch of uranium in 2006. Yesterday, Ahmadinejad inaugurated Iran’s Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP) at Isfahan and announced the installation of a new “more accurate” type of centrifuge […]

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Happy Iranian Nuclear Day! And everything you have ever wanted to know about centrifuges.

Yes, today, 9 April, is the official Iranian holiday to celebrate all the progress that the Iranians have made toward nuclear self-sufficiency. The Iranian nuclear program is getting lots of news, especially their effort to enrich uranium using centrifuges and today’s inauguration of their new fuel fabrication facility. The fundamental problem with centrifuges is that they can be used to produce uranium for a nuclear reactor but the very same machines can also be used […]

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Iran’s Uranium: Don’t Panic Yet.

By Ivan Oelrich and Ivanka Barzashka Last week, the New York Times and the Financial Times USA ran stories that implied that Iran had been hiding enriched uranium and had been caught red-handed during the most recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) physical inventory inspection. While supposedly based on the IAEA report (GOV/2009/8), the articles more closely followed the ISIS analysis of the report.  [Jeffery Lewis, as usual, also has good analysis and comments on […]

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