Friday, September 29, 2006

New ISIS Report Outlines Iran's NPT Violations

The Institute for Science and International Security released a new report on September 29, 2006 outlining Iran’s Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) violations and other outstanding issues related to the country’s nuclear program.

Iranian officials continually underplay or deny charges in International Atomic Energy Agency resolutions that have found Iran in violation of the NPT and its related safeguards agreement. In addition to outlining unresolved issues over Iran’s nuclear program, the ISIS report identifies these specific NPT violations:

According to the IAEA, Iran failed to declare the following major activities:

  • Uranium Imports: Iran failed to report that it had purchased natural uranium (1,000 kg of UF6, 400 kg of UF4, and 400 kg of UO2) from China in 1991, and its subsequent transfer for further processing. Iran acknowledged the imports in February 2003.
  • Uranium conversion: Iran did not inform the IAEA of its use of the imported uranium in tests of its uranium conversion processes, including “uranium dissolution, purification using pulse columns, and the production of uranium metal, and the associated production and loss of nuclear material.” Iran acknowledged this failure in February 2003.
  • Uranium enrichment: Iran failed to report that it had used 1.9 kg of the imported UF6 to test P1 centrifuges at the Kalaye Electric Company centrifuge workshop in 1999 and 2002. In its October 2003 declaration to the IAEA, Iran first admitted to introducing UF6 into a centrifuge in 1999, and into as many as 19 centrifuges in 2002. Iran also failed to declare the associated production of enriched and depleted uranium.
  • Hidden Sites: Iran did not declare to the IAEA the existence of a pilot enrichment facility at the Kalaye Electric Company Workshop, and laser enrichment plants at the Tehran Nuclear Research center and at Lashkar Ab’ad. Because experiments at these sites involved the use of nuclear material in equipment, Iran was obligated to report them to the IAEA.
  • Laser Isotope Enrichment Experiments: Iran failed to report that in 1993 it imported 50 kg of natural uranium metal, and that it used 8 kg of this for atomic vapor laser isotope separation (AVLIS) experiments at Tehran Nuclear Research Center between 1999 to 2000, and 22 kg of the metal for AVLIS experiments at Lashkar Ab’ad between 2002 to 2003. These activities were ultimately acknowledged in an October 2003 declaration.
  • Plutonium Experiments: Iran did not report to the IAEA that it had produced uranium dioxide (UO2) targets, irradiated them in the Tehran Research Reactor, and then separated the plutonium from the irradiated targets. Iran also failed to report the production and transfer of waste associated with these activities and that it had stored unprocessed irradiated targets at the Tehran Nuclear Research Center. In later meetings with the IAEA, Iran said that it conducted the plutonium separation experiments between 1988 and 1993 using shielded glove boxes at the Tehran Nuclear Research Center.

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