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.

ore processing activities were shown to the Agency. Most of the files were those which had been shown to the Agency in April 2005, and consisted of the final "as built" drawings. Only some of the files contained originals of drawings related to the first attempts to design and construct the grinding process line. In these latter documents, the names of the persons who had designed, drawn, checked or approved the drawings, and the name of the company that had prepared the drawings, along with project numbers and dates, were blacked out. Iran explained that "the coverage of names was done to protect the commercial secret."

30. During the August 2005 meeting, Iran also showed the Agency some of the delivery documents (receipts) for items purchased off the shelf, which matched the time line declared by Iran, as well as examples of purchase orders placed around 2002 with various subcontractors. According to Iran, however, no purchase orders or contracts existed for the procurement of equipment for the grinding process line. Iran explained that, since the company had just started in business in 2000, the company had not had a great deal of experience and had purchased most of the equipment for the grinding process off the shelf with the intention of assembling that part of the facility by itself on site, but that, after the first unsuccessful cold testing, the company had changed its operating practice and had subcontracted for the production of parts for the process lines. According to Iran, this explained the relative abundance of such documentation for the subsequent development of the process line as compared with the paucity of such documentation for the first efforts.

31. In addition to the above questions associated with the chronology, the Agency is still trying to acquire a better understanding about why no work was carried out at the Gchine site between 1993 and 2000. Iran has stated that, during that period, research and development experiments on Gchine ore were carried out at a TNRC laboratory.

B.5. Other Implementation Issues

32. As described in the Director General's November 2004 report, Iran brought into operation in 1985 a Fuel Fabrication Laboratory (FFL) at Esfahan (which is still in operation), about which it informed the Agency in 1993 and for which design information was provided in 1998. Iran is also building a Zirconium Production Plant at Esfahan. Construction of the Fuel Manufacturing Plant at Esfahan, which is scheduled to be commissioned in 2007, was started in 2004. There are no other new developments to report with respect to Iran's fuel fabrication activities. Further follow up of these activities will be carried out as a routine safeguards implementation matter.

33. Iran is in the process of constructing a heavy water research reactor (IR-40) at Arak (planned to go into operation in 2014) and a heavy water production plant (HWPP) at Arak. As indicated in the November 2004 report, the Agency has requested additional information about Iran's efforts to acquire equipment for hot cells for the IR-40. However, no new information has been received concerning hot cell equipment since that time. In March 2005, Agency inspectors visited the Arak site to carry out design information verification (DIV), and noted that construction of the IR-40 building had been started. The March 2005 visit also included complementary access to HWPP, which is currently being commissioned. The Agency will continue to monitor Iran's heavy water reactor programme as a routine safeguards implementation matter.

34. Iran's activities involving polonium extraction, and the Agency's findings with respect thereto, were discussed in paragraphs 79-84 of the November 2004 report.8 As indicated in that report, the issue is of interest to the Agency since polonium-210 can be used not only for certain civilian applications, but also, in conjunction with beryllium, for military purposes (specifically, as a neutron initiator in some designs of nuclear weapons). There are no new developments to report in connection with the polonium separation experiments. The Agency has, however, investigated evidence provided to it of attempts by Iran to acquire beryllium metal, and has been able to confirm that the attempts indicated in that evidence were not successful.

B.6. Cooperation in the Implementation of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol

35. The Additional Protocol to Iran's Safeguards Agreement was signed on 18