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Nuclear facilities in Iran


Nuclear facilities in Iran


  • Anarak 1
  • Arak 2
  • Ardakan 3
  • Bonab 4
  • Bushehr 5
  • Chalus 6
  • Darkovin 7
  • Fordow 8
  • Isfahan 9
  • Karaj 10
  • Lashkar Abad 11
  • Lavizan 12
    • Lavizan-3 12.1
  • Natanz 13
  • Parchin 14
  • Saghand 15
  • Tehran 16
  • Yazd 17
  • References 18
  • External links 19


Anarak, near Yazd, has a nuclear waste storage site.[1]


The Arak area has several industrial complexes, some with ties to the nuclear program, in particular the IR-40 reactor under construction and a heavy water production plant, both at Khonab.[2] In the late 1990s, one of these complexes may have manufactured a high-explosive test chamber transferred to Parchin, which the IAEA has asked to visit. The Arak area is also thought to hold factories capable of producing high-strength aluminum for IR-1 rotors.[3]

Arak was one of the two sites exposed by a spokesman for the People's Mujahedin of Iran in 2002.[4][5] 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.[6]


The possible existence of a nuclear-related facility near Ardakan (also spelled Ardekan or Erdekan) was first reported on 8 July 2003, by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. Mohammad Ghannadi-Maragheh, Vice President for Nuclear Fuel Production of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said in September 2003 that the facility was a uranium mill with an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tonnes of ore and an annual output of 50 metric tons of uranium. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the facility would be hot tested July 2004, producing 40 to 50 kg of yellow cake, but as of 2008 Iran had provided no further information to the IAEA on its operation.[7]


Arak's IR-40 Heavy water reactor

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.[8] 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.[9][10] In December 2007 Russia started delivering nuclear fuel to the Bushehr nuclear power plant.[11] The construction was completed in March 2009.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]


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.[15] 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.[16]


Iran declared on 6 March 2007 that it has started construction of a domestically built nuclear power plant with capacity of 360 MW in Darkovin, in southwestern Iran.[17]


Fordo Uranium Enrichment Facility.
Fordow, near the city of Qom, is the site of an underground uranium enrichment facility at a former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps base.[18][19] Existence of the then-unfinished Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) was disclosed to the IAEA by Iran on 21 September 2009,[20] but only after the site became known to Western intelligence services. Western officials strongly condemned Iran for not disclosing the site earlier; U.S. President Barack Obama said that Fordow had been under U.S. surveillance.[21] In its initial declaration, Iran stated that the purpose of the facility was the production of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235, and that the facility was being built to contain 16 cascades, with a total of approximately 3000 centrifuges. Iran argues that this disclosure was consistent with its legal obligations under its Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA, which Iran claims requires Iran to declare new facilities 180 days before they receive nuclear material.[22] However, the IAEA stated that Iran was bound by its agreement in 2003 to declare the facility as soon as Iran decided to construct it.[23] Later, in September 2011, Iran said it would move its production of 20% LEU to Fordow from Natanz,[24] and enrichment started in December 2011.[25] According to the Institute for Science and International Security, possible coordinates of the facility's location are: [26]


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.[27]

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.[28]

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.[29] 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.[30]


() 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.[31]

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.


On 24 January, 2015, Iranian dissidents of the NCRI, claimed a covert uranium enrichment facility, called Lavizan-3, exists just outside Tehran.[32][33]


Natanz Nuclear Facility
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.It is located at Natanz a city in, and the capital of Natanz County, Isfahan Province, Iran. 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 1,000 more under construction at the site.[34] In accordance with Code 3.1 of the Subsidiary Arrangements to Iran's safeguards agreement that were in force up to that time, Iran was not obligated to declare the Natanz enrichment facility until six months before nuclear material was introduced into the facility. According to the IAEA, in 2009 there were approximately 7,000 centrifuges installed at Natanz, of which 5,000 were producing low enriched uranium.[35]


Parchin Military Complex () is located approximately 20 kilometers southeast of downtown Tehran. The IAEA was given access to Parchin on 1 November 2005, and took environmental samples: 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.[36] 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.[37] In November 2011, the IAEA reported that it had "credible" information that Parchin was used for implosion testing.[38] The IAEA sought additional access to Parchin, which Iran did not grant.[39]


() 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.[40]


() The Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC)[41] 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), which became operational in 1967 fueled by highly enriched uranium.[42][43]

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.[44][45] 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.[46] 115.8 kg of 19.75% low-enriched uranium in 65 fuel elements was delivered in 1993,[47][48] which was sufficient for multiple refuelings of the reactor. The reactor core normally consists of 27 fuel elements, of about 30 kg of uranium.[49][50]

In February 2012, Iran loaded the first domestically produced fuel element into the Tehran Research Reactor.[51]

The Plasma Physics Research Center of Islamic Azad University operates a [52]


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.[53]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Nuclear Iran A GLOSSARY, March 2015, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy & Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
  4. ^ Arak,
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Bushehr: Fertigstellung des iranischen Kernkraftwerkes ist für Russland Ehrensache (German)
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Russia delivers nuclear fuel to Iran. CNN. 17 December 2007
  12. ^ Iran's Bushehr NPP no threat to its neighbors - experts RIA Novosti 2009-05-13
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Russia, Iran set up joint venture to operate Bushehr power station", RIA Novostni (August 21 2010)
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Iran starts second atomic power plant: report, Reuters, Feb 8, 2008.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ GOV/2009/74 Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008) and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^ Esfahan / Isfahan - Iran Special Weapons Facilities
  28. ^
  29. ^ /articles/images/thumb/8/8e/Jafarzadeh.jpg
  30. ^ SPC
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ http://www.isisnucleariran.orgs/detail/parchin/
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^
  44. ^ : Making a U.S.-Iranian Nuclear DealAgence Global
  45. ^ : Iran's Nuclear ProgramIran Watch
  46. ^
  47. ^
  48. ^
  49. ^
  50. ^
  51. ^
  52. ^
  53. ^

External links

  • The first-ever English-language website about Iran's nuclear energy program
  • Iran's key nuclear sites by BBC news
  • Iran nuclear sites ISIS
  • Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant - Nuclear Threat Initiative (2015)
  • Natanz Enrichment Complex - Nuclear Threat Initiative (2015)
  • IRANIAN centrifuges IR-1, IR-2M, and IR-4 - Nuclear Threat Initiative (2015)
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