Policy ForumNUCLEAR SECURITY

After the Iran deal: Multinational enrichment

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Science  19 Jun 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6241, pp. 1320-1322
DOI: 10.1126/science.aac5989

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  1. Foreign ministers discuss Iran's nuclear program in Lausanne, April 2015.

    PHOTO: GLEN JOHNSON/US STATE DEPARTMENT
  2. Enriching uranium to weapon-grade

    The SWU capacity required for a 1-year breakout time would depend on whether the feed into Iran's enrichment cascades was natural or enriched uranium. According to the U.S. fact sheet (2), Iran has agreed to enrich to less than 3.67% and reduce its stock of enriched UF6, which could quickly be fed into centrifuges, to much less than the amount required to produce one “significant quanitity” (SQ). Feeding enriched uranium into centrifuges dramatically reduces the capacity required to produce an SQ of 90% enriched weapon-grade uranium within a given period of time (11). See the supplementary materials for details on this estimate.

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