Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Report by the IAEA Director-General

Author(s): IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei
2 September 2005
Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran', Report by the Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors, GOV/2005/67, September 2, 2005.

experiments, which Iran initially said had begun in 1988 and were completed in 1993. Iran also stated that no plutonium had been separated since then.6

22. The result of the Agency's analysis of plutonium solutions sampled by it in September 2004 confirmed the Agency's earlier finding that the age of the plutonium solutions in the bottles appeared to be less than the declared 12-16 years, indicating that the plutonium could have been separated after 1993. During follow up discussions with Iran in April 2005, Iran told the Agency that, in 1995, the plutonium nitrate solution contained in one of the two bottles said to have been a result of the experiments had been purified and a plutonium disk had been produced as a result for alpha spectroscopy, and that, in 1998, the plutonium solution in the other bottle had been purified and another plutonium disk had been produced. Following these discussions, at the request of the Agency, the plutonium disks were shipped to SAL for further analysis to determine the exact isotopic composition of the plutonium.

23. In a letter to the Agency dated 17 June 2005 referring to the statement by the DDG-SG, Iran explained that there was a clear distinction between the date of termination of the research project on plutonium and the dates of the other activities, such as the ones related to purification and related waste management of the liquid, which it had not considered as part of the main research project. Iran reiterated that the "research project had been terminated in 1993" and added, "That is, no more samples were sent for irradiation to the research reactor for the purpose of [plutonium] production and subsequent [plutonium] separation."7

24. With the cooperation of Iran, the Agency was able, between 1 and 9 August 2005, to conduct detailed verification of the unprocessed irradiated UO2 targets stored in four containers. A preliminary assessment of the data collected and the measurements performed during that verification seems to corroborate Iran's declaration with regard to the quantity of uranium present in the containers, although the total number of targets found in those containers was much higher than had been declared by Iran. In a letter dated 24 August 2005, Iran provided further detail about the numbers of targets.

25. A final assessment of Iran's plutonium research activities must await the results of the destructive analysis of the disks and targets.

B.4. Uranium Mining and Concentration

26. As indicated by the DDG-SG in his statement to the Board on 16 June 2005, while there are no indications of undeclared mining or milling activities at Gchine, the Agency has been trying to achieve a better understanding of the complex arrangements governing the past and current administration of the Gchine mine and mill. In particular, the Agency wished to investigate further how a turn-key project for a uranium ore processing plant could have been implemented by a newly founded company, described as having had limited experience in uranium ore processing, in such a relatively short period of time. In particular, the Agency has focused on the period between 2000 and mid-2001, during which time, according to Iran, the company had been able to design, procure, build and test the grinding process line for the mill.

27. In response to the Agency's request, Iran, in April 2005, showed the Agency, and provided an oral translation of, a copy of a contract dated 13 June 2000. The Agency was also shown a comprehensive set of "as built" drawings provided by the engineering company to the AEOI, as well as a number of other documents and drawings.

28. During a meeting in Iran from 13 to 18 August 2005, the Agency requested to speak with the individual who had previously been in charge of the Gchine project, as well as to the AEOI representative currently in charge of the project. The Agency was only able to meet with the current AEOI representative, who had assumed responsibility for the project in 2002. The AEOI representative provided a chronology of the construction of the uranium ore concentration plant, and in particular, of the design and construction of the grinding process line, stating that procurement of parts for that line had been started in September 2000, that the civil engineering construction had begun in February 2001 and that the equipment was first tested in April 2001.

29. During the meeting, files containing drawings and documents related to the Gchine mine