The Iranian nuclear program: timelines, data, and estimates

KEY FINDINGS

IRAN IS DEVELOPING A RAPID NUCLEAR WEAPONS BREAKOUT CAPABILITY BY REDUCING THE TIME IT NEEDS TO PRODUCE FUEL FOR AN ATOMIC WEAPON.

  • Iran would need 7.8 MONTHS to produce 25 kg of weapons-grade uranium and 2 MONTHS to produce 15 kg of weapons-grade uranium at the buried Fordow enrichment facility.*
  • Iran would need 1 MONTH to produce 25 kg of weapons-grade uranium and 2 WEEKS to produce 15 kg of weapons-grade uranium at the larger Natanz enrichment facility.*
  • These estimates are based on data from Iran’s declared operating facilities. The existence of undeclared (covert) enrichment sites, which cannot be ruled out given Iran’s record of deception, would have an impact on breakout estimates.

 

IRAN IS EXPANDING AND HARDENING ITS URANIUM ENRICHMENT CAPACITY.

  • Iran is increasing its stockpile of 3.5% and 20% enriched uranium. Its 3.5% enriched uranium production increased sharply in the last International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reporting period. Its 20% enriched uranium production grew at a constant rate. It has enough low-enriched uranium to fuel five nuclear weapons after conversion to weapons-grade.
  • A growing proportion of Iran’s 20% enriched uranium is being produced in the more hardened facility at Fordow, rather than in the more vulnerable Natanz facility.
  • Iran is expanding both of its declared enrichment facilities. It recently installed an additional 368 centrifuges at Fordow and earlier in 2012 built infrastructure to operate approximately 1,630 additional centrifuges there and several thousand more at Natanz.

IRAN IS PURSUING MULTIPLE PATHS TO OBTAINING NUCLEAR WEAPONS FUEL.

  • Iran recently told the IAEA that it plans to begin operating the Arak heavy water reactor in April 2013. This reactor will be capable of producing two warheads’ worth weapons-grade plutonium per year once operational.

 

*Estimates assume Natanz and Fordow operate with the capacity reflected in the May 2012 IAEA report. Iran may need 15-25 kg weapons-grade uranium for an implosion-type bomb design depending on its level of technical ability.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Maseh
Zarif

What's new on AEI

Making Ryan's tax plan smarter
image The teacher evaluation confronts the future
image How to reform the US immigration system
image Inversion hysteria
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 25
    MON
  • 26
    TUE
  • 27
    WED
  • 28
    THU
  • 29
    FRI
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Teacher quality 2.0: Toward a new era in education reform

Please join AEI for a conversation among several contributors to the new volume “Teacher Quality 2.0: Toward a New Era in Education Reform” (Harvard Education Press, 2014), edited by Frederick M. Hess and Michael Q. McShane. Panelists will discuss the intersection of teacher-quality policy and innovation, exploring roadblocks and possibilities.

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.