August Report on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Jill Marie Parillo
August 28, 2009
A new International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report is out on Iran. Here is some new information about Iran’s enrichment capabilities, since the last June report:
Each finished unit at Iran’s enrichment facility at Natanz (picture is of Ahmadinejad at Natanz) contains 18 centrifuge cascades and each centrifuge cascade consists of 164 centrifuges.
Iran has 4,592 centrifuges spinning in 28 cascades within two units (the completed Unit A24 and uncompleted Unit A26). There are 3,936 centrifuges in a complete unit of 18 cascades (Unit A24) and 1,640 centrifuges in an incomplete unit of 10 cascades (Unit A26) that are enriching uranium.
In February 2009, Iran was enriching UF6 in its completed Unit 24 and the incomplete Unit A26 (with six cascades). Now, six months later, Iran is using 4 new cascades (656 centrifuges) in Unit A26 to enrich uranium.
According to this latest IAEA Report, Iran produces approximately 83 kilograms of LEU per month (~2.8 kilograms per day), up from 70/per month (~2.25 kilograms per day) six months ago. Iran’s centrifuges are not working at full capacity, if they were, Iran could produce 266 kilograms of LEU per month.
The IAEA has successfully conducted three unannounced inspections since June 2009.
Iran, as was the case 6 months ago, has a breakout capability. Iran could throw the weapons inspectors out and build a bomb in 6 months to two years. However, there is no proof Iran intends to do so.
See the full report here @armscontrolwonk.
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