IAEA says fully monitoring enrichment in Iran

June 2, 2010 - 0:0

VIENNA (Agencies) - The International Atomic Energy Agency issued its latest quarterly report about Iran’s nuclear activities on Monday, stating that its inspectors have set up a good monitoring system over Iran’s production of 20 percent enriched uranium meant for a medical reactor.

“A new safeguards approach is now being implemented,” the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog agency said in its report.
The report noted that Iran continues to add to its stockpile of 5 percent enriched uranium -- the kind used in nuclear power plants -- and is preparing to expand its capacity for making 20 percent enriched uranium.
Last February Iran began to enrich uranium to 20 percent after the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) failed to provide the 20 percent enriched fuel needed to power the Tehran research reactor, which produces radioisotopes for cancer treatment.
However, in a new pact signed by Iran, Turkey, and Brazil on May 17, Tehran agreed to transfer 1,200 kilograms of low-enriched uranium to Turkey to be exchanged for 120 kilograms of 20 percent enriched fuel for the Tehran research reactor. Iran is now awaiting a response from the IAEA and the Vienna Group, which is comprised of the United States, France, and Russia.
According to the nine-page document issued by the IAEA, Iran has agreed to a request by the agency to allow better monitoring of its enrichment activities by improving the angles of the cameras and sealing materials.
The new IAEA report also said the stock of low-enriched uranium in Iran is now 2.4 tons.
The IAEA inspectors also said Iran continues to produce uranium at far less than capacity, feeding uranium into only 3,936 of the 8,528 centrifuges installed at the Natanz enrichment facility.
However, the IAEA claimed that Iran refuses to grant its inspectors access to scientists and files and to provide details on uranium enrichment facilities Iran plans to build.
Iran has announced that it plans to build 10 new nuclear facilities.
“Iran did not provide the requested information and stated only that it would provide the agency ‘with the required information in due time,’” the report added.