Iran to add hundreds of centrifuges to nuclear plan
By The Washington Post
Published: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 9:22 p.m.
Iran has told U.N. nuclear officials that it plans to add potentially hundreds of next-generation centrifuge machines to its main uranium-enrichment plant, a move that could dramatically boost its ability to produce the fuel used in nuclear power plants and — potentially — in nuclear bombs.
The notification came in a letter last week in which Iran said it would begin installing the more powerful centrifuges at its Natanz plant south of Tehran, which already has been enriching uranium for nearly a decade, according to a Western diplomat briefed on the plans.
The new machine, the IR2M, is believed to be vastly superior to the clunky, 1970s-era IR1 machine that Iran uses, giving Iran the ability to produce up to four times as much enriched uranium per machine. Iran claims the enriched uranium would be used exclusively for nuclear power plants, but U.S. officials suspect that Iran is using nuclear energy to keep open its options to pursue a weapons program.
Iran's Jan. 23 letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency did not identify how many centrifuges it planned to install, or when the changes would occur. But U.N. officials inferred from the letter that hundreds of machines, if not more, would be added to one wing of the Natanz plant, according to the official, who insisted on anonymity in discussing confidential correspondence. The U.N. watchdog agency informed member states about Iran's plans in an internal memo and said it was pressing Iranian officials for details, the diplomat said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pakistan army wants private news channel closed over allegations that link intel agency to shooting
- Sri Lanka to boot British tourist over Buddha tattoo
- Pontiff seeks to bring faith to ‘ends of Earth’
- Extension for sputtering Mideast talks possible
- Al-Qaida in Yemen shows ‘strength,’ warns U.S.
- 12 killed, 4 missing in avalanche on Mt. Everest
- Pope Francis, huge crowd joyously celebrate Easter
- Sherpas ponder boycott because of Everest avalanche