Iran adds machines at enrichment plant struck by blast

Iran adds machines at enrichment plant struck by blast

Iran has installed extra advanced centrifuges at its underground uranium enrichment plant at Natanz that was hit by a blast last week, a report by the U.N. atomic watchdog on Wednesday showed.

The International Atomic Energy Agency report was not clear on how many centrifuges are in use but it gave "up to" numbers of advanced machines installed at the plant that were higher than previously indicated. The report made no mention of the explosion or its effect on the plant’s activity.

"On 21 April 2021, the Agency verified at FEP that: ... six cascades of up to 1,044 IR-2m centrifuges; and two cascades of up to 348 IR-4 centrifuges ... were installed, of which a number were being used," the IAEA report to member states said, referring to the underground Fuel Enrichment Plant at Natanz.

According to a previous report, the IAEA verified on March 31 that Iran was using 696 IR-2m machines and 174 IR-4 machines at the FEP.

The accord only lets Iran produce enriched uranium at its underground Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) at Natanz with first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, which are far less efficient than the advanced models.

Wednesday’s report also said Iran informed the IAEA that it plans to install four more cascades, or clusters, of IR-4 centrifuges at the FEP, where both of the IR-4 cascades it had planned have now been installed, Reuters reported.

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