IAEA: Iran enriching uranium to 60% at aboveground facility at Natanz


Staff member
IAEA: Iran enriching uranium to 60% at aboveground facility at Natanz
UN watchdog confirms Iranian claim of enriching to near weapons-grade level; underground enrichment at plant that was hit by bomb last week
By TOI staff

Iran has started the process of enriching uranium to 60 percent fissile purity at an “aboveground facility” at its Natanz nuclear enrichment plant, the UN nuclear watchdog said on Saturday, confirming earlier announcements made by Iranian officials. “The Agency today verified that Iran had begun the production of UF6 enriched up to 60% U-235 by feeding UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235 simultaneously into two cascades of IR-4 centrifuges and IR-6 centrifuges at the Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant,” the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement to the Reuters news agency. Reuters also cited an internal IAEA report further elaborating on the process.

“According to Iran’s declaration to the Agency, the enrichment level of the UF6 produced at PFEP was 55.3% U-235. The Agency took a sample of the produced UF6 for destructive analysis to independently verify the enrichment level declared by Iran. The results of this analysis will be reported by the Agency in due course,” the report said. A bomb early on April 11 blew up the main and backup power supply to the underground enrichment facility at Natanz. It caused damage to various kinds of the 6,000 centrifuges there and set back enrichment for six to nine months, according to Israeli and American reports.

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