Iran completes centrifuge rotor factory

July 18, 2018

TEHRAN – Nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi has announced that a factory manufacturing rotors used for producing centrifuge rotor factory machines has been completed.

The rotor factory was completed in compliance with the order by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to swiftly make preparations for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWUs, Salehi told the national television in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.

SWU is the standard measure of the effort required to separate isotopes of uranium during an enrichment process. 1 SWU is equivalent to 1 kilogram of separative work.

Salehi, a nuclear physicist, added that while the factory could have taken seven or eight years to build, Iran began to develop it during the nuclear talks with world powers, but did not complete the facility until the order by the Leader on June 4 this year.

Salehi says the rotor factory has the capacity to manufacture around 60 IR-6 centrifuges each day once the country starts to mass produce the new generation of centrifuges.

On that day, Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to make preparations for the enrichment of uranium up to a level of 190,000 SWUs without any delay in the framework provided by the Iran nuclear deal. His order came as a response to the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.

According to Salehi, the factory has the capacity to manufacture around 60 IR-6 centrifuges each day once the country starts to mass produce the new generation of centrifuges.

Back in June, Salehi said Iran had already developed the necessary infrastructure at the Natanz nuclear facility for enrichment of uranium up to a level of one million SWUs.

The Natanz nuclear complex in central Iran has been configured to accommodate 48,000 centrifuge machines, he said, explaining that the work to enhance the capacity of uranium enrichment and open new units for assembling the new generation of centrifuge machines had begun even before the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the official name for the nuclear deal.

Commenting on Iran’s uranium stockpile and the enrichment operation, Salehi said, “[Before the conclusion of the JCPOA] We used to have 550 tons we had imported from abroad. And we added to it 400 tons. Our uranium stockpile in the country is now something between 900 and 950 tons. So if today we had 190,000 SWUs [enrichment power], we would be able to run this 190,000 SWUs for at least 3 years based on this raw material.”

“We should render the situations so that this 190,000 SWUs would be able to operate stably. So we are working rapidly on exploration and extraction so that we would be able to produce the raw material at a level that would ensure our self-sufficiency,” he further said.

SP/PA


 

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