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Iranian Nuclear Technology and Industry (technical only... non-political)

aryobarzan

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Iranian nuclear industry is the largest in the region and has produced many technological products. I am starting this thread as a placeholder for all Iranian nuclear technology/industry achievements. The thread is purely technical and non-political..there is an already existing thread for the political aspects of the issue.

I will try to include topics such as Reactors, Enrichment, Facilities, nuclear fuel, Nuclear medicine, Nuclear safety, Uranium mining, nuclear propulsion and finally the unclear device..Hope everyone with public knowledge of Iranian nuclear program can contribute to this thread...I will populate this thread slowly as I accumulate materials+photos but first lets start with a simple brief about Uranium enrichment.

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Iran's first nuclear reactor (Iranian designed and Iranian built) named IR-40 is a heavy water plutonium reactor.The construction was interrupted due to nuclear deal reached in 2015..As I understand this reactor will be revived again.

The Iranian reactor core (with calandria)

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Here is a video of this reactor
 
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aryobarzan

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Every nuclear reactor requires nuclear fuel..The nuclear fuel (enriched Uranium) placed inside a special corrosion,radiation and heat resistant nuclear fuel Rods made of Zirconium metal...Iran mastered the production of Zirconium and was able to produce the nuclear fuel rods required for powering a reactor.. Special handling equipment had to developed to manipulate the nuclear material..

Fuel Rod production (Zirconium metal casings to withstand heat and radiation)

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Robotic machinery and specialised pumps for the manipulation of nuclear process and components.



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aryobarzan

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Nuclear fuel is the final product of Uranium enrichment process. To enrich Uranium Iran has developed over two decade of research and engineering a series of Centrifuge equipment designated as IR-xx. each generation of certifuge has more throughput compared to older generations..Size (height and diameter) , number of rotors, spin rates and power cutoff tolerance are some of the basic characteristics of these devices. Currently Iran is at 9th generation of these devices with a machine known as IR-9

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IR-9 Centrifuge (50 times more productive than IR-1).

Of some interest is Iran's publicly stated intention to develop nuclear propulsion for her naval ships/subs..I wonder if the following photo is related to the issue. If any one has any info on this photo please make a comment.

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aryobarzan

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Iranian Nuclear facilities: Most facilities are underground and not open to general public..I will include what is available publically to give a view of the scale of Industrial nature of Iranian program.

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Esfahan Nuclear Technology Center alone employes up to 3000 nuclear scientists and technicians.
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Isfahan also is the location of Uranium Conversion Facility (UCF)..This is where the Yellow cake is converted in a chain of processes to be available for enrichment by the Centrifuges. some photos

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Ich

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Its good to see that Iran in future is able to produce enough electricity for its needs, independently.
 

aryobarzan

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A more detailed view of some of the "known" Iran nuclear sites .The extent of the program is an indication of the level of importance Iran has for this industry.

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The original ARAK heavy water reactor plant.. an Iranian law passed this year calls for a second heavy water nuclear reactor like the original design of one in Arak

The following photo is Iran's NATANZ plant..this is the only "partially above ground" enrichment plant..All other enrichment plants are deep underground including the famous "FORDO" Plant.
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"FORDO" deep underground enrichment plant
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aryobarzan

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Uranium Mining:
Iran's Uranium reserves is a state secret .However Iran has extensive Uranium mining ,Uranium milling and Yellow cake production plants all over the country (see the map of Uranium sites). The reserves are probably large enough to feed an industrial scale program. The following photos are available on the net from a mine in Gachin near the Persian gulf coast
The Gachin site is composed of a mine and a uranium ore concentration plant (UOC), alternatively called a yellowcake production plant or mill.
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Here is a very interesting video of "Yellow cake" production in another milling plant ( Saghand Uranium Mine in the central Yazd province). The Yellow cake produced in these milling plants are transferred to ISFAHAN UCF plant.
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aryobarzan

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@Hack-Hook ...Good day...I was trying to write few things about medical Isotopes that Iran is producing in the nuclear industry..All I have just photo of few jars! ..I was wondering if you can write and/or show something that has a better effect and tells the reader what those are and why they are so valuable..🤔🤔

@QWECXZ, @yavar ,@Shawnee ..guys I will be starting the AMAD topic soon it will be about the nuclear device itself and mostly above my paygrade...if you want to add or write something it will be a good place to have it..
 
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aryobarzan

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Iran's Nuclear device ..Possible designs and experiments via AMAD project
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Starting to populate this section at random before organizing it.

some comments from informed members also included.
AMAD Project:

Iran made public her Nuclear device by providing Israel the partial data and Using Israeli Prime minister to publicize the progress...A tactic to ensure the enemy knows the progress so there be no miscalculations.



IAEA peport 2015 , for 2231 UNSC
projects in the AMAD
https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/gov-2015-68.pdf

2011
https://www.iaea.org/sites/default/files/gov2011-65.pdf

some exerts from these IAEA reports of interest

  • The information indicated that activities commenced in the late 1980s within Departments of the Physics Research Centre (PHRC) and later, under the leadership of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, became focused in the early 2000s within projects in the AMAD Plan, allegedly managed through the ‘Orchid Office’. Information indicated that activities under the AMAD Plan were brought to a halt in late 2003 and that the work was fully recorded,
  • Information available to the Agency prior to November 2011 indicated that the Gchine mine was a potential source of uranium for use in undeclared nuclear activities in the period 2000-2003. The information also indicated that preliminary activities, including the ‘green salt project’, were undertaken at an unknown location and were aimed at the production of uranium salts that would have been suitable either for conversion into material for uranium enrichment or into material for the direct reduction of uranium salts to pure uranium metal.
  • The Agency also had information from Member States that, although not used, kilogramme quantities of uranium metal were available to the AMAD Plan. As previously reported,33 the Agency carried out a physical inventory verification (PIV) at the Jabr Ibn Hayan Multipurpose Research Laboratory (JHL) in August 2011 to verify, inter alia, the nuclear material, in the form of natural uranium metal, and process waste related to experiments to convert UF4 into uranium metal that had been conducted at JHL in the period 1995-2000.
  • Information available to the Agency prior to November 2011 indicated that, in the early 1990s, Iran may have received design information for a nuclear explosive device from a clandestine nuclear supply network
  • Information available to the Agency prior to November 2011 also indicated that Iran had made progress with preparatory work aimed at developing a chemical process to reduce a uranium fluoride compound (UF4) to uranium metal, using lead oxide as a surrogate material.
  • Iran, in 2002-2003, developed exploding bridgewire (EBW) detonators and a high voltage firing capability which, in combination, enabled several detonators to be fired with less than microsecond simultaneity
  • Iran stated that preliminary work on EBW detonators was undertaken by an industrial group connected to the Ministry of Defence, after which, in 2002, it started further work which culminated in the successful development of EBW detonators. Iran showed the Agency a video of experimental activities being carried out, which Iran stated were linked to its aerospace industry
  • Prior to November 2011, Member States provided the Agency with information that Iran had available to it design information on the explosives technology known as multipoint initiation (MPI) and that it had used this for the initiation of high explosives in hemispherical geometry. The information indicated that Iran had developed of a hemispherical MPI system and conducted at least one large scale experiment in 2003, details of which were technically consistent, both internally and with publications authored by a certain ‘foreign expert’. The Agency has reassessed that this experiment was conducted at a location called “Marivan”, and not conducted in “the region of” Marivan.36 (remember this name MARIVAN)*
  • Iran, in the early 2000s, of small scale experiments aimed at validating the initiation of high explosives, associated instrumentation, and the implementation of safety standards at various test locations in Iran.
  • During the technical-expert meeting on 30 September 2015, Iran showed the Agency examples of the ring wave generator, including several that had been filled with explosives and fired. Iran stated that the testing had been of an empirical nature to determine the performance of the explosive system. Consequently, Iran stated that it had not defined a specification for the functioning of the ring wave generator and had undertaken only limited diagnostic measurements.
  • Iran indicated that it had investigated MPI technology in a cylindrical geometry for an unspecified conventional military purpose. Iran also reiterated that no work had been conducted with MPI technology in (hemi) spherical geometry. 46. The Agency assesses that the MPI technology developed by Iran has characteristics relevant to a nuclear explosive device, as well as to a small number of alternative applications.
  • in relation to hydrodynamic testing, the Agency received from Member States information, including satellite imagery, which indicated that Iran made and installed a large cylinder at the Parchin military complex in 2000. Other information indicated that this cylinder matched the parameters of an explosives firing chamber (chamber) featured in publications of the foreign expert and was designed to contain the effects of detonating up to 70 kg of high explosives (a quantity suitable for conducting hydrodynamic experiments with high explosives). The information indicated that Iran had first installed the chamber and then constructed a building around it, and that this building (the main building of interest to the Agency) was in use until late 2003.
  • Modelling and calculations . By November 2011, the Agency had received information from Member States indicating that, prior to 2004 and between 2005 and 2009, Iran had undertaken computer modelling studies of various component arrangements, which were only specific to nuclear explosive configurations based on implosion technology. Open source information also indicated that Iran had conducted additional studies relating to high explosives modelling, which the Agency also considered significant in the context of both hydrodynamic simulation and code development studies. The modelling described above has a number of possible applications, some of which are exclusively for a nuclear explosive
  • (to be continued in the next post)
Some comments from PDF member "QWECXZ":
Gun-type assembly is so simple that even Taliban or militias might be able to pull it off if they can acquire enough enriched uranium. You just split your fissile material in two halves and keep them apart until you drop the bomb, when the two halves join each other and create a supercritical mass for explosion. The problem is that it is very inefficient and it has a risk of predetonation, although it is a very small chance. In other words, it has a very low yield/weight ratio and its storage can be risky (even though the risk is very small). The main reason for its low yield is that once explosion starts, only a small portion of your fissile material (uranium) goes under fission and the rest of the material expands so fast due to rising temperature that it becomes subcritical immediately and the chain reaction stops after microseconds.

Then there's the implosion technique which has a higher yield but it's much more complicated. Criticality is achieved mainly by converging shock waves that result in the compression of the fissile material. It has a higher yield than the gun-type assembly because your fissile material stays compressed for a longer period and more of your fissile material has time to go under fission before the chain reaction stops. The main technical challenge is to compress your fissile material with converging shock waves and keep it compressed. Compressing uranium/plutonium becomes exponentially more difficult. 2 times compression is easy, 3 times compression is very difficult but doable, and 4 times compression is insanely difficult.

Then it's time for fusion-boosted fission. Based on the details of the AMAD project, I guess this is where Iran might be now. Basically, any country that wants to declare itself a nuclear state in the 21st century should start from here to be taken seriously. The main feature of this design is that a small fusion reaction takes place to provide a high number of fast neutrons. Usually, a mixture of deuterium and tritium is used as an additional source of neutrons in the early stage of explosion. The fusion reaction starts almost immediately after the fission reaction that provides the required energy for fusion to take place. After that, because it all happens very fast and still in the early stages of the explosion, the additional neutrons that are created very early by the fusion reaction will exponentially contribute to the fission of the fissile material, greatly enhance the yield of the weapon.

Now, you can say that miniaturization is basically increasing yield to weight ratio. You can remove or decrease the weight of some components of your weapon. For example, if you use a hollow-pit, you can remove the pusher (which reflects the shockwave backwards) and reduce the size of your tamper (which prevents neutrons from escaping). Also, you can inject deuterium-tritium before implosion to boost the fission.

Can Iran do this sort of thing? I don't know. I think the details of the AMAD project indicate that Iran has already mastered a levitated pit. @Shawnee previously posted a picture of a possible Iranian design in the Iranian Chill Thread. Maybe he can post it here again. From what I remember, it seemed like a levitated pit. If so, that puts Iran in 2003 somewhere near Mark 4 or Mark 5 in terms of US nuclear weapons. But a better question is, how much miniaturization does Iran need actually? Realistically, Iran's only legitimate target for establishing nuclear deterrence is Israel. Khorramshahr can lift 1,800 kilograms to a distance of 2,000 kilometers with a CEP of under 10 meters. That's more than enough to carry a 2 tonne warhead to Israel, and probably even some Eastern European countries. What else does Iran need realistically?

As for whether Iran can do all of this using computer simulations, again, I don't know. But you can obviously simulate the hydrodynamics of shockwave generation with computers and experiment with it without getting caught. You can also insert sensors to calculate the number of neutrons without a hot test. It seems that least in theory, you can get an idea of how well your design should work. But does it mean that it should work as expected? Plus, if your goal is to establish nuclear deterrence, at the end of the day, it is established only when your adversaries detect and estimate on their own the yield of your weapon. If it's a fizzle yield like North Korea in 2006, it won't make them leave you alone.

*The story of MARIVAN as per PDF member

You know, last night I was having a look at the "stolen documents" about the AMAD project. I was literally rolling on the floor about how you had been trolled for years. For 15 years, they had made you believe that Marivan site was in a city in Kurdistan near the Iraq border. The United States requested the IAEA to visit the city several times. Finally, they visited there and found nothing. It took 15 years for the US and Israeli intelligence services to realize that the actual location of the Marivan site was not Marivan, but Abadeh, a city in central Iran. And how? By a couple of documents that can very well be forged to misguide you again. If you can't locate a building correctly for 15 years, I doubt you actually know anything of value. The majority of information you are fed could very well be carefully manipulated by the Ministry of Intelligence to divert your attention from other important places and developments.
 
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aryobarzan

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Personal note: After reading IAEA reports regarding AMAD project It appears to me that Iran by 2003 had done all technology development and experiments required to develop a nuclear device..Having obtained the Technology the AMAD project was stopped.
 

aryobarzan

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Iran to use her own nuclear fuel in Bushehr nuclear power plants.
TEHRAN— Mohammad Eslami, the director of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has told Sputnik that his country can create nuclear fuel on its own and will soon begin using it at the Bushehr nuclear power plant.

 

Hack-Hook

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a new record for Israel intelligence , they have out did themselves again

this month prediction only 6-8 week away
 
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aryobarzan

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Iran's nuclear medicine and Isotope Technology

Some historical information with regards to the Iranian use of nuclear technology in the healthcare system.
  • Using its nuclear expertise, Iran has introduced a number of radiopharmaceutical products.
  • In 2009, Iranian scientists performed a successful bone marrow surgery on a girl with cancer, using Iranian-produced radiopharmaceutical MIBG in combination with stem cell techniques.
  • In 2017 Iran started “Preliminary work for the construction of the largest nuclear hospital in the Middle East .The first of its kind in the Middle East.”
  • Iran also uses its 40-megawatt, heavy-water Arak reactor to produce isotopes for cancer and other medical treatments.
  • in 2017 Iran started building an underground infrastructure to produce stable isotopes for civilian uses in industry, agriculture and medicine at the Frodo facility.
  • Stable isotopes are non-radioactive forms of atoms. Although they do not emit radiation, their unique properties enable them to be used in a broad variety of applications, including water and soil management, environmental studies, nutrition assessment studies, and forensics.
  • Iran also uses its 40-megawatt, heavy-water Arak reactor to produce isotopes for cancer and other medical treatments.
  • In 2017 Iran began building its National Ion Therapy Center in Karaj. The center has a total treatment capacity of 1200 patents per annum in three irradiation rooms after completion.
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Iran’s very first linear particle accelerator, a device mainly used for treatment of cancer patients, was produced by Behyaar Sanaat Sepahan, a knowledge-based company based in Isfahan, announced the company’s managing director.
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  • In 2020 The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran launched a national project to produce molybdenum-99, a radioisotope used to make radiopharmaceuticals.
  • Molybdenum-99 is used as a parent radioisotope to produce technetium-99m, the most widely used radioisotope in Iran and the world that is the basis of approximately 70 percent of all radioactive materials used to produce radiopharmaceuticals.

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In 2020 Iran finally
masters technology to enrich stable isotopes
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