The Iranian nuclear program: Timelines, data, and estimates

Recent Developments:

Start of Advanced Centrifuge Installation

• International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors observed that Iran installed 180 IR-2m centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility. These machines have an output rate several times greater than first-generation centrifuges. The deployment of IR-2m centrifuges in significant quantities will drastically reduce the time required for weapons-grade (~90% enriched) uranium production and, therefore, increase the risk that Iran will be able to produce such material undetected.

Significant Installation of First-Generation Centrifuges

• Iran increased its enrichment capacity by installing more than 2,200 additional first-generation centrifuges at the Natanz enrichment facility between November 2012 and February 2013. This mass installation will further cut the time needed to produce weapons-grade uranium. It also indicates that Iran is still able to produce centrifuges in significant quantities despite sanctions and interdiction efforts.

Stockpiling for Second Bomb’s Worth of ~20% Enriched Uranium

• Iran is producing near-weapons grade (~20% enriched) uranium at rate of about 10 kilograms per month. It has converted to powder and sent to the Tehran Research Reactor only a small fraction of this material thus far. Iran has stockpiled, in gas and powder forms, enough 20% uranium to rapidly convert to fuel for one bomb. It is now on its way to accumulating a second bomb’s worth of 20% uranium.  


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Maseh
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