Nuclear facilities in Iran

Nuclear facilities in Iran
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Nuclear program of Iran



Anarak has a waste storage site, near Yazd.


Arak heavy water reactor1.jpg

Arak was one of the two sites exposed by a spokesman for the MEK terrorist group in 2002. Iran is constructing a 40 MWt heavy water moderated research reactor at this location 34°22′24″N 49°14′27″E / 34.3734°N 49.2408°E / 34.3734; 49.2408, which should be ready for commissioning in 2014, referred to as IR-40.[1][2] In August 2006, Iran announced the inauguration of the Arak plant for the production of heavy water. Under the terms of Iran's safeguards agreement, Iran was under no obligation to report the existence of the site while it was still under construction since it was not within the 180-day time limit specified by the safeguards agreement. This reactor is intended to replace the life-expired 1967 Tehran Nuclear Research Center research reactor, mainly involved in the production of radioisotopes for medical and agricultural purposes.[3]


The possible existence of a nuclear-related facility near Ardekan (also spelled Ardakan or Erdekan) was first reported on 8 July 2003, by the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the political wing of the People's Mujahedeen, an organization listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organization. According to that organization, the facility was designed for the task of uranium treatment and was located somewhere in the central part of Iran. A new site believed to be under construction was the Ardekan Nuclear Fuel Unit. This site, reportedly scheduled to be completed in mid-2005, was said to be located at the 33rd kilometer (20.5 miles) of the Ardekan-Choupanan Road.[citation needed]

This project was supervised by an engineer named Farhad Vadoudfaam, under the supervision of the Directorate of the Nuclear Fuel of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The Executive Director of this project was an engineer named Baghesfani. The central office of this site was located in the city of Ardekan at Shahda Square, Picheh Tazel, next to Ausari High School, number 48. One of the affiliate companies of the AEOI was doing the consulting for this site.[citation needed]

Mohammad Ghannadi-Maragheh, Vice President for Nuclear Fuel Production of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), discussed the project at the World Nuclear Association Annual Symposium held in London 3-5 September 2003. He said that a uranium mill with an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tonnes of ore and an annual output of 50 metric tonnes of uranium was being built 35 km north of Ardekan city.[citation needed]

There was the possibility that this facility could have been the pilot yellow cake production facility originally built at the Benefication and Hydro metallurgical Center (BHRC), also in Yazd province, in 1992. In late February 2003, Mr. Aghazehey, an AEOI official, stated that the plant would begin producing uranium gas within "two to three months."[citation needed]

The mill was reported by Iranian officials in statements made to the Intentional Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to have been hot tested July 2004, producing 40 to 50 kg of yellow cake, and that ore production was expected to begin in 2006. As of 2008 no further information had been provided to the IAEA concerning the operation of the facility.[citation needed]


The Atomic Energy Research Center at Bonab is investigating the applications of nuclear technology in agriculture. It is run by the AEOI.


The Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant (Persian: نیروگاه اتمی بوشهر) is located 17 kilometres (11 mi) south-east of the city of Bushehr, between the fishing villages of Halileh and Bandargeh along the Persian Gulf. Construction started in 1975 by Kraftwerk Union AG, but was halted in July 1979 following the 1979 Iranian Revolution.[4] The reactor was damaged by Iraqi air strikes during the Iran-Iraq war in the mid-1980s. Construction resumed in 1995, when Iran signed a contract with Russian company Atomstroiexport to install into the existing Bushehr I building a 915 MWe VVER-1000 pressurized water reactor.[5][6] In December 2007 Russia started delivering nuclear fuel to the Bushehr nuclear power plant.[7] The construction was completed in March 2009.[8]

On 13 August 2010, Russia announced that fuel would be loaded into the plant beginning on 21 August, which would mark the beginning of the plant being considered a nuclear facility. Within six months after the fuel loading, the plant is planned to be fully operational.[9] Tehran and Moscow have established a joint venture to operate Bushehr because Iran has not yet had enough experience in maintaining such installations. However, Iran may begin almost all operational control of the reactor within two or three years.[10]


In 1995 Iranian exiles living in Europe claimed Iran was building a secret facility for building nuclear weapons in a mountain 20 kilometres from the town of Chalus.[11] In October 2003 Mohamed ElBaradei announced that "In terms of inspections, so far, we have been allowed to visit those sites to which we have requested access". It therefore appears the allegations about the Chalus site were unfounded.[12]


Iran declared on March 6, 2007, that it has started construction of a domestically built nuclear power plant with capacity of 360 MW in Darkovin, in southwestern Iran.


The Nuclear Technology Center of Isfahan is a nuclear research facility that currently operates four small nuclear research reactors, all supplied by China. It is run by the AEOI.[13]

The Uranium Conversion Facility at Isfahan converts yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride. As of late October 2004, the site is 70% operational with 21 of 24 workshops completed. There is also a Zirconium Production Plant (ZPP) located nearby that produces the necessary ingredients and alloys for nuclear reactors.


The Center for Agricultural Research and Nuclear Medicine at Hashtgerd was established in 1991 and is run by the AEOI. [1]

Lashkar Abad

Lashkar Abad is a pilot plant for isotope separation. Established in 2002, the site was first exposed by Alireza Jafarzadeh in May 2003 which led to the inspection of the site by the IAEA. Laser enrichment experiments were carried out there, however, the plant has been shut down since Iran declared it has no intentions of enriching uranium using the laser isotope separation technique.[2] In September 2006, Alireza Jafarzadeh claimed that the site has been revived by Iran and that laser enrichment has been taking place at this site. SPC


(35°46′23″N 51°29′52″E / 35.77306°N 51.49778°E / 35.77306; 51.49778) All buildings at the former Lavizan-Shian Technical Research Center site were demolished between August 2003 and March 2004. Environmental samples taken by IAEA inspectors showed no trace of radiation. The site is to be returned to the City of Teheran.[14]

According to Reuters, claims by the US that topsoil has been removed and the site had been sanitized could not be verified by IAEA investigators who visited Lavizan:

Washington accused Iran of removing a substantial amount of topsoil and rubble from the site and replacing it with a new layer of soil, in what U.S. officials said might have been an attempt to cover clandestine nuclear activity at Lavizan. Former U.S. ambassador to the IAEA, Kenneth Brill, accused Iran in June of using "the wrecking ball and bulldozer" to sanitize Lavizan prior to the arrival of U.N. inspectors. But another diplomat close to the IAEA told Reuters that on-site inspections of Lavizan produced no proof that any soil had been removed at all.


(33°43′24.43″N 51°43′37.55″E / 33.7234528°N 51.7270972°E / 33.7234528; 51.7270972) Natanz is a hardened Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) covering 100,000 square meters that is built 8 meters underground and protected by a concrete wall 2.5 meters thick, itself protected by another concrete wall. In 2004, the roof was hardened with reinforced concrete and covered with 22 meters of earth. The complex consists of two 25,000 square meter halls and a number of administrative buildings. This once secret site was one of the two exposed by Alireza Jafarzadeh in August, 2002. IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei visited the site on 21 February 2003 and reported that 160 centrifuges were complete and ready for operation, with 1000 more under construction at the site.[15] Under the terms of Iran's safeguards agreement, Iran was under no obligation to report the existence of the site while it was still under construction. There are currently approximately 7,000 centrifuges installed at Natanz, of which 5,000 are producing low enriched uranium.[16]


The Parchin Military Complex 35°31′N 51°46′E / 35.52°N 51.77°E / 35.52; 51.77 is not presently known to be a nuclear site. This was discovered on 1 November 2005, when the IAEA was given access to the site and environmental samples were taken. Inspectors did not observe any unusual activities in the buildings visited, and the results of the analysis of environmental samples did not indicate the presence of nuclear material.[17] Parchin is a facility for the testing and manufacturing of conventional explosives; IAEA safeguards inspectors were looking not for evidence of nuclear material, but of the kind of explosives testing consistent with nuclear weapons research and development.[18]


Qom is the site of a previously undeclared underground uranium enrichment facility at an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base[19] revealed publicly on September 25, 2009 in a joint appearance by the leaders of the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.[20] Managed by the Atomic Energy Association of Iran, it was described as a "pilot fuel enrichment plant" by Iran and has a reported capacity of 3,000 centrifuges.[19] According to the Institute for Science and International Security, two possible locations of the facility are 34°53′05″N 50°59′45″E / 34.88459°N 50.99596°E / 34.88459; 50.99596 and 34°56′37″N 50°45′38″E / 34.94373°N 50.76056°E / 34.94373; 50.76056.[21]


(32°28′45″N 55°24′30″E / 32.47917°N 55.40833°E / 32.47917; 55.40833) Location of Iran's first uranium ore mines, which became operational in March 2005. The deposit is estimated to contain 3,000 to 5,000 tons of uranium oxide at a density of about 500 ppm over an area of 100 to 150 square kilometers. [3]


(35°44′18″N 51°23′18″E / 35.7384°N 51.3882°E / 35.7384; 51.3882) The Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC)[22] was established in 1967, managed by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).

Under the United States Atoms for Peace program it was equipped with 5-megawatt pool-type nuclear research reactor, named the Tehran Research Reactor‎ (TRR),[23] which became operational in 1967 fueled by highly enriched uranium.[24][25]

After the Iranian Revolution the United States cut off the supply of highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel for the TRR, which forced the reactor to be shut down for a number of years.[26][27] In 1987–88 Iran signed agreements with Argentina's National Atomic Energy Commission to convert the TRR from highly enriched uranium fuel to 19.75% low-enriched uranium, and to supply the low-enriched uranium to Iran.[28] The uranium was delivered in 1993.[29]

The Plasma Physics Research Center of Islamic Azad University operates a Tokamak fusion reactor designated Iran Tokamak 1 (IR-T1).[30]


Yazd Radiation Processing Center is equipped with a Rhodotron TT200 accelerator, made by IBA, Belgium, with outputs of 5 and 10MeV beam lines and a maximum power of 100 kW. As of 2006 the centre is engaged in geophysical research to analyze the mineral deposits surrounding the city and is expected to play an important role in supporting the medical and polymer industries.[31]


  1. ^ Arak,
  2. ^ Kim Howells (16 Jan 2006). Written Answers to Questions - Iran. Hansard. Column 977W. Retrieved 2007-11-05 
  3. ^ "INFCIRC/696". IAEA. 6 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  4. ^ Bushehr: Fertigstellung des iranischen Kernkraftwerkes ist für Russland Ehrensache (German)
  5. ^ "Iran urges Russia to speed up Bushehr nuclear plant work". Forbes. 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2006-06-03. 
  6. ^ "Technical events to be held at Bushehr nuclear plant – Atomstroiexport". ITAR-TASS. 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  7. ^ Russia delivers nuclear fuel to Iran. CNN. 17 December 2007
  8. ^ Iran's Bushehr NPP no threat to its neighbors - experts RIA Novosti 2009-05-13
  9. ^ "Iran nuclear plant start date set". BBC News Online. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 14 August 2010. 
  10. ^ "Russia, Iran set up joint venture to operate Bushehr power station", RIA Novostni (August 21 2010)
  11. ^ "Tehran's Magic Mountain". US and World News Report. 1995. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  13. ^ Esfahan / Isfahan - Iran Special Weapons Facilities
  14. ^ "Iran tried to acquire nuclear equipment at suspect Lavizan site: UN agency". Iran Focus. Retrieved 2006-04-23. 
  15. ^ Pike, John (2006). "Natanz [Kashan"]. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Transparency Visits and Discussions" (PDF). Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran. International Atomic Energy Agency. 2006. Retrieved 2006-05-28. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ a b Weisman, Jonathan (2009-09-25). "Iran Denounced Over Secret Nuclear Plant". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  20. ^ Sanger, David E.; Cooper, Helene (2009-09-25). "Iran Confirms Existence of Nuclear Plant". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 
  21. ^ "Satellite Imagery of Two Possible Sites of the Qom Enrichment Facility in Iran". Institute for Science and International Security. 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Research Reactor Details - TRR". International Atomic Energy Agency. 1998-10-01. Retrieved 2009-08-19. 
  24. ^ "Contract between the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran and the United States of America for the transfer of Enriched Uranium and Plutonium for a Research Reactor in Iran". IAEA (United Nations). 7 June 1967. Retrieved 2010-04-08 
  25. ^ "Foreign Research Reactor Spent Nuclear Fuel Acceptance". U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration. Archived from the original on 2006-09-24. Retrieved 2006-09-24. 
  26. ^ Agence Global: Making a U.S.-Iranian Nuclear Deal
  27. ^ Iran Watch: Iran's Nuclear Program
  28. ^ "Amendment to Agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Government of Iran for assistance by the Agency to Iran in establishing a Research Reactor Project". IAEA (United Nations). 9 December 1988. Retrieved 2010-04-08 
  29. ^ "Foreign Suppliers to Iran's Nuclear Development". James Martin Center For Nonproliferation Studies. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  30. ^ Dr. Farhang Jahanpour (2006). "Chronology of Iran's Nuclear Program". Oxford Research Group. Retrieved 2006-09-25. [dead link]
  31. ^ "Yazd Radiation Processing Center (YRPC)". Nuclear Threat Initiative. 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-25. [dead link]

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