Iran to reach 4.5% uranium enrichment level at Fordow plant

Nuclear Program Materials 7 November 2019 17:01 (UTC +04:00)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 7

By Elnur Baghishov - Trend:

Iran will reach the uranium enrichment level of 4.5 percent at Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant on Nov. 9, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said, Trend reports via ISNA.

Kamalvandi said that 25 tons of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) was produced from the remaining waste, adding that 2 tons of this gas was transported to the Fordow plant and pumped into fuel pipes of the centrifuges.

“On Nov. 4 and 5, Iran's uranium enrichment capacity has reached 8,660 separative work units (SWUs) and the capacity will grow by 900 SWUs at Fordow,” the spokesman noted.

Thus, the volume will reach 9,500 SWUs, and this level was maximum at 11,000 SWUs before the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Kamalvandi added.

On Nov. 6, Iran put the 2,800 kg cylinder including 2,000 kg uranium hexafluoride (UF6) in Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant as part of the fourth step of reducing commitments to the JCPOA.

In January 2016, the JCPOA was implemented between Iran and the P5+1 group (US, Russia, China, UK, France and Germany) in connection with Iran's nuclear program. In May 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the deal and imposed sanctions against Iran in November of the same year. In order to preserve the agreements reached as part of the JCPOA, the European signatories of the deal stated in January 2019 that a financial mechanism for maintaining trade with Iran called INSTEX was formed.

On May 8, 2019, Iran announced that it had ceased fulfilling its commitments regarding the sale of over 300 kilograms of uranium, as stated in the deal, basing its decision on the other signatories having not fulfilled their obligations. On July 7, Iran announced that it will not be fulfilling its commitments regarding the enrichment of uranium at 3.67 percent and the reconstruction of the Arak Heavy Water Reactor Facility as stated in the deal.

On Sept. 5, Iran announced that it will enrich uranium using next-generation centrifuges and will not mix it with the enriched uranium residues as part of the third step of reducing commitments in the JCPOA, and stated that a further step will be taken in two months, should the other signatories not fulfill their commitments.