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Iran’s Nuclear Program: Status and Implications Olli Heinonen Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Harvard Kennedy School 19 November, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Iran’s Nuclear Program: Status and Implications Olli Heinonen Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Harvard Kennedy School 19 November, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Iran’s Nuclear Program: Status and Implications Olli Heinonen Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Harvard Kennedy School 19 November, 2013

2 Nuclear Fuel Cycle Facilities Mining Gcchine Saghand Milling Gcchine Ardakan Conversion Isfahan Enrichment Natanz Fordow Fuel Fabrication Isfahan Reactors TRR Bushehr IR-40 Others, planned

3 Nuclear Infrastructure Iran has not adhered to the resolutions of the UN Security Council, but continued to build the nuclear program including the supporting infrastructure - Iran continues to manufacture centrifuges and their components - Iran is increasing the production of key raw materials (zirconium, heavy water, high strength aluminum), but depending still on imports (maraging steel, instrumentation) The net result: Iran is increasing its nuclear capabilities, but the international community knows less about them

4 20 % UF6 Is Not Medium Enriched Uranium

5 Production of Weapons Grade Material Production of 1 Significant Quantity (SQ) of weapons grade uranium from natural uranium requires about 5000 Separative Work Unit (SWU) of enrichment effort SQ-- The approximate quantity of nuclear material required to manufacture the first nuclear weapon taking into account the manufacturing losses.

6 Nuclear Material Stockpiles Current stock of UF6 - Natural uranium ca 425 metric tons % enriched uranium ca 7.1. metric tons - 20 % enriched uranium ca 200 kg Quantity of concern - 10 metric tons metric tons kg

7 Enrichment Capacity Natanz and Fordow IR-1 centrifuges Natanz 1000 IR-2m centrifuges Total number of centrifuges and rotors produced and their locations are not known

8 Break out Scenarios There are various scenarios available starting with feeding of natural, 3-5 % or 20 % enriched UF6, in Natanz, Fordow, or elsewhere to produce weapons grade, 90 % enriched uranium.

9 Break out Times for 90 % UF6 Examples of scenarios - Use all current centrifuges in Natanz and Fordow with natural uranium - Use all current centrifuges in Natanz and Fordow with 3-5 % uranium - Use 6000 IR-1 centrifuges as tandem cascades with 20 % uranium - Use 3000 IR-2ms at an unknown location Time required for one SQ 6 months 2 months 2 weeks 1-2 weeks

10 Need for Enriched Uranium Bushehr LWR has a contract for fuel with the Russians - annual reload 20 tons 4 % enriched uranium - requires IR-1 centrifuges to produce - requires yellow cake imports Tehran Research Reactor - 20 years ago Iran imported about 120 kg 20 % enriched fuel, which is close to being consumed - Iran has produced 410 kg 20 % enriched UF6 ( 274 kg uranium) Iran states that it plans for four additional research reactors, but has not disclosed details Iran plans to build additional LWRs, but no plans disclosed

11 When the IAEA Rings Bells ? IAEA inspects Fordow and Natanz every one or two weeks Uranium stocks ( natural, 3-5 % and 20 %) in Isfahan are inspected less frequently; monthly IAEA cannot provide assurances that all facilities and nuclear materials in Iran have been submitted to safeguards IAEA does not have knowledge how much “yellow cake” has been produced in Iran, and where these materials are IAEA does not have knowledge about the number of centrifuges produced

12 Add Time to Uranium Clock Action at known locations - Ship all 20 % uranium out - Convert all 20 % uranium to oxide form - Convert all 3-5 % uranium to oxide form (cannot be done in next 3 months) - Ship all 3-5 % and 20 % out - Allow a limited enrichment capability, 3000 IR-1 or 3000 SWU Time gained - 2 months - > 1 month - > 2 months - 6 months - > 1 month depending how much 3-5 % and 20 % UF6 stocks left

13 More Leash to the IAEA From the beginning of the interim agreement Iran to declare all the centrifuge rotors manufactured and their current location IAEA allowed to monitor rotors and their manufacturing All nuclear material (UF6, oxides) in Natanz, Fordow, and Isfahan under IAEA remote monitoring Iran to declared and allow the IAEA to monitor yellow cake

14 The Heavy Water Reactor Program The IR-40 reactor will be commissioned in Ill suited for isotope production though claimed to replace Tehran Research Reactor. Will be able to produce plutonium enough for one nuclear device/year. Plutonium available earliest in 2016/17, but requires a reprocessing plant to be built.

15 Add Time to Plutonium Clock Suspend the construction of the IR-40 Suspend production of fuel for the IR-40 Place the key components and materials of IR-40 under the IAEA monitoring (heavy water, fuel loading machine, pumps of the primary circuit)

16 The Stakes Are high It is not only about Iran, but the credibility of the nonproliferation regime and the authority of the UN Security Council are being tested When looking at the past experiences a comprehensive initial declaration is essential for the success of the interim agreement


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