Processing Iran’s centrifuge numbers

March 19, 2015

The fervor inspired by Iran’s nuclear program has been particularly intense the past few months. Iranian claims that their program’s lone, peaceful goal is electrical power production have been met with a particularly jaundiced eye by a bomb-wary world community. As Western talks with Tehran continue, where do Iran’s nuclear facilities stand?

As this Reuters graphic shows, Iran has nearly two dozen nuclear sites, but only one of those, in Bushehr, is a power plant. Natanz, the biggest of the country’s six uranium processing/enrichment facilities, reportedly houses 15,000 centrifuges, but the majority of Iran’s centrifuges are relatively old and inefficient, with an output just 20 percent that of the newer model. And for the moment they’re stuck there, because the Iranians appear to be complying with UN-mandated limits on innovating new tactics at the country’s eight nuclear research and development locations. At last count, Iran had 19,138 installed centrifuges, with 9,900 active, but P5+1 negotiators seek a reduction to around 6,500 total. Iran wants to keep that number closer to 9,000.

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Israel is a “one bomb country”. It appears the Iranians are well on their way to achieving that bomb.

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