Iran`s Nuclear Program and Negotiations

Status of Iran’s Nuclear Program
and Negotiations
David Albright
November 3, 2013
Nuclear Weapon Issues in the 21st Century
Sponsored by the American Physical Society Forum on
Physics/Society & GWU Elliott School
Photo of Natanz, DigitalGlobe
Natanz Plant, September 2002
Fordow Centrifuge Facility
Arak Heavy Water (IR-40)
Kalaye Electric
Natanz Pilot Plant IR-1
Centrifuge Cascades
3.5% LEU Production at Natanz Fuel
Enrichment Plant
Cumulative 3.5% LEU Production
Taking Stock, August 2013
3.5% LEU product
9,704 kg
9,704 kg
6,774 kg*
3.5% LEU feed
1,455 kg
1,422 kg
2,877 kg
2,877 kg
19.75% LEU product
178 kg
195 kg
373 kg
186 kg (in hex form)**
Advanced Centrifuge Deployment:
Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP)
Breakout to Enough Weapon-Grade
Uranium for a Nulear Weapon
Estimating Breakout Timelines
Illustrative IR-1 centrifuge plant to make weapon-grade uranium
(WGU), based on a four Step, Khan-Type Centrifuge Plant
• 24 cascades (164 P1s/cascade) make 3.5% LEU--3,936 P1s
• 8 cascades (164/cascade) make 20% from 3.5%--1,312 P1s
• 4 cascades (114/cascade) 20 to 60%--456 P1s
• 2 cascades (64/cascade) 60 to 90%--128 P1s
Total: 38 cascades with 5,832 P1s
 Iranian cascades are not ideal and their performance and
output is modeled by Houston Wood and Patrick Migliorini
from University of Virginia’s Mechanical & Aerospace
Engineering Department in collaboration with ISIS.
Production of WGU in a Breakout at
Declared Enrichment Sites
• 2009 Nuclear weapons capability achieved in that Iran has enough IR-1
centrifuges and 3.5 percent LEU (about 1,500 kg 3.5 LEU hexafluoride to
produce 25 kg weapon-grade uranium in a breakout in about 4,593
enriching IR-1 centrifuges. It would take longer than six months
• August 2012-breakout time using Natanz only (IR-1 centrifuges being
installed in Fordow) was 2.5-4.1 months with three-step process, 9,330 IR1 centrifuges, a stock of 91 kg near 20 percent LEU hexafluoride, and use
of 3.5 percent LEU hexafluoride (in three-step process)
• August 2013-Breakout time with enriching IR-1 centrifuges only is 1.3-2.3
months, with three step process with 10,092 IR-1 centrifuges, 186 kg near
20 percent LEU hexafluoride, and use of 3.5 percent LEU hexafluoride.
[3.1-3.5 months with 3.5 percent LEU only, no near 20 percent LEU]
• August 2013-Breakout time for scenario using all installed IR-1
centrifuges is 1.0 to 1.6 months with three step process as above but with
18,454 IR-1 installed centrifuges and 186 kg near 20 percent LEU
hexafluoride. [1-9-2.2 months with 3.5% LEU only and no near 20% LEU]
Note: calculational methods changed somewhat from Fall 2012 estimates to fall 2013 estimates
Key Questions for Negotiations
• How to extend breakout times?
• How to cap the Iranian centrifuge program and ensure that it will
not expand during the next 5-10 years?
• How to increase the chance of finding a secret centrifuge or
plutonium separation plant? How to establish adequate
transparency in general, including Iran addressing the IAEA’s
concerns about Iran’s past and possibly on-going nuclear weapons
• How to trade Iranian concessions for sanctions relief?
 The United States anticipates obtaining an interim agreement
followed several months later by a long-term agreement that will
verifiably ensure that Iran will not build nuclear weapons.
 What will an interim deal look like?
Minimal Goals of an Interim
Stopping production of near 20 percent LEU; mothballing or disabling 6 cascades
involved in making near 20 percent LEU at Natanz and Fordow
Reducing stocks of near 20 percent LEU, particularly those in hexafluoride form
Achieving the principle that Iran’s centrifuge program would be capped to below a
certain size for the long term. Initially, there should be freezes in the numbers of
installed and enriching centrifuges.
Cancelling the Arak heavy water reactor project
Developing a baseline of information about Iran’s gas centrifuge program,
including its centrifuge manufacturing complex, a detailed declaration of any
centrifuge plants under construction or planned, and Iran’s total inventory of
Expanding IAEA monitoring, including remote camera monitoring of centrifuge
plants and implementation of early notification of construction of new facilities
(code 3.1)
Ensuring that Iran understands that significant sanctions relief requires that Iran
address fully and cooperatively the IAEA’s concerns about Iran’s alleged past and
possibly on-going work on nuclear weapons.
Alleged Military Dimensions
• IAEA has considerable evidence of Iranian work on nuclear weapons
prior to 2004 and some evidence suggesting that some of that work
continued afterward and may continue today.
• Western intelligence agencies are united in assessing with high
confidence that Iran had a nuclear weapon program prior to 2004.
They are less united about any such work after 2004.
• There is general agreement that the Iranian regime has not decided
to build a nuclear weapon. There is less agreement whether Iran
will refrain from building a nulear weapon in the future
• Little hope of significant sanctions relief if Iran does not come clean
about its past activities and address cooperatively and fully the
IAEA’s concerns.
Visits Associated with Resolving
Concerns about Military Dimensions
• Iran will need to allow the IAEA to visit several sites and interview a
range of experts and officials in order to address their concerns.
The IAEA has identified several sites to Iran, but so far Iran has
refused the IAEA’s requests to visit these particular sites.
• One set involves workshops that were involved in making mock-ups
of missile re-entry vehicles suitable to hold a nuclear warhead.
• Another of those is a site at the Parchin military complex that is
alleged to have been involved in undertaking high explosive tests
related to the development of nuclear weapons. After the IAEA
asked to visit this site early 2012, Iran undertook extensive
excavation and reconstruction at this site, compromising the IAEA’s
ability to settle this issue. Iran will need to address the Parchin issue
to the satisfaction of the IAEA, which will inevitably involve more
than simply allowing a visit.
Parchin: Before and After

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