- Oct 2010
I'm looking for the problem, other than the paranoid, right-wing, US defenders of nuclear-armed Israel, here:While that amount of LEU is nowhere near the amount of LEU (and some MEU) Iran had on hand prior to the JCPOA, of which amounted to the material for potentially producing about 12 or more 20 to 30 Kt yield nuclear weapons if enriched to weapons grade, Iran has to my understanding installed a series of IR6 centrifuges which could potentially process said amount of material at a far greater rate-and resultingly much less time-than it took Iran to process that said material years ago using less advanced centrifuges, all while taking up a much a smaller footprint to do so. And I won't be surprised at all if Iran starts feeding material into that cascade of installed IR6's in the coming weeks or months. And, of course, when such systems take up much less space, then they are easier to successfully hide away in some undisclosed bunker somewhere in Iran.
UN atomic watchdog raises questions of Iran's centrifuge use
(Although admittedly, the more centrifuges that are installed of any given advancement of design, the greater rate of enrichment. But, while it took Iran many thousands of older-design centrifuges and some years to produce those 12 or more bombs-worth of LEU and some MEU material in the past, potentially it could take Iran just hundreds of IR6 centrifuges to do the same amount of processing over the same period of time.)
In its first quarterly report since those announcements, however, the Vienna-based IAEA found Iran continued to be in compliance and also said its inspectors had been given unfettered access to Iranian nuclear facilities.
“Timely and proactive cooperation by Iran in providing such access facilitates implementation of the additional protocol and enhances confidence,” the report stated, referring to the procedure detailing safeguards and tools for verification.
The senior diplomat said Iran does have the capacity to quadruple uranium enrichment as it recently threatened, but that inspectors would have to wait until the next report to determine whether they had actually set that increase in motion.
“They have the flexibility, they can increase and they can reduce, and they can do a number of things,” the diplomat said. “The capacity is always there, and we do verify this at a technical level, we are fully monitoring that.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. ended deals allowing Iran to exchange its enriched uranium for unrefined yellowcake uranium with Russia, and to sell its heavy water, which is used as a coolant in nuclear reactors, to Oman. That will also make it difficult, if not impossible, for it to stay within stockpile limits if it increases production of both.
The IAEA said Iran’s heavy water stockpile was 125.2 metric tons (138 U.S. tons) as of May 26, up from 124.8 tons in February but below the 130 ton limit. Its stock of low-enriched uranium was 174.1 kilograms (383.8 pounds) as of May 20, up from 163.8 kilograms in February; the limit is 202.8 kilograms.
It added that Iran had not enriched any uranium above the level allowed by the JCPOA.
“All centrifuges and associated infrastructure in storage have remained under continuous agency monitoring,” the IAEA said.