New IAEA report
A new report released by the International Atomic Energy Agency indicates that Iran has completed installation of the 2,800 centrifuges in its underground Fordow plant, although not all of them are operational. Iran has also continued to enrich uranium to 20% and has increased its stockpile slightly, according to the report. Arms Control Now provides a clear analysis of the report’s key findings.
Arak reactor delayed
According to the IAEA Iran has delayed the start-up of its heavy water reactor at Arak until 2014. Once operational the facility at Arak could produce plutonium by 2017 at the earliest, according to one expert, as long as a reprocessing facility was also constructed. Although Iran has announced it does not plan to reprocess the plutonium to be made into weapons cores, international analysts note that similar plants have been used by other nations to make fuel for weapons.
P5+1 “committed” to new round of negotiations
Recently members of the P5+1 reaffirmed their desire to hold a new round of negotiations with Iran over its disputed nuclear program. A statement from the office of Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, asserted that the group was “committed to having another round of talks with Iran as soon as possible.” The statement also noted that the P5+1 “remain united in their efforts to seek a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear issue.”
Myanmar agrees to nuclear disclosure
During President Obama’s recent trip to Myanmar, President Thein Sein announced his country’s intention to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol. Such an agreement would require Myanmar to disclose all nuclear facilities and materials, and may provide evidence about the possible acquisition of dual-use technology from North Korea. In an analysis, the Institute for Science and International Security called the decision “remarkable” and “extremely positive.”
Taiwan may forgo some nuclear activities as part of new deal with U.S.
According to Taiwanese officials, the U.S. and Taiwan are “discussing assurances on enrichment and reprocessing” as part of a framework to renew the nuclear trade pact between the two states which is set to expire in 2014. Such a framework may offer Taiwan access to U.S. nuclear technology in exchange for Taiwan forgoing nuclear reprocessing and enrichment. Over the summer a Taiwanese official stated “Our government insists on peaceful use of nuclear energy, so we don’t want to raise any proliferation concerns.”