IAEA issues first Iran verification report

29 February 2016

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued its first report on verification and monitoring activities in Iran since the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and the E3/EU+3 countries.

The JCPOA, under which Iran agreed to limit its uranium enrichment activities, eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and limit its stockpile of low enriched uranium over the next 15 years, was signed in July 2015 by Iran and the E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the USA - also referred to as the P5+1 - plus the European Union). It was implemented on 16 January - known as Implementation Day - after the IAEA confirmed that Iran had taken the necessary preparatory steps. At the same time, Iran commenced the implementation of the Additional Protocol to its nuclear safeguards agreement with the IAEA. Since then, the IAEA has been verifying and monitoring Iran's ongoing implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the plan.

The IAEA's report, made public by the US-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), notes that since the JCPOA was implemented Iran has not pursued the construction of the Arak heavy water reactor or produced or tested uranium fuel materials for it, and that all existing natural uranium pellets and fuel assemblies remain in storage under continuous IAEA monitoring. The agency confirmed that a total of 20 tonnes of heavy water, verified and sealed by the IAEA, was shipped out of Iran in February bringing the country's inventory of the material to below 130 tonnes.

The IAEA also confirmed that since Implementation Day, Iran has conducted its uranium enrichment activities in line with its declared long-term plans. The IAEA also noted that Iran has provided it with information on its production and inventory of centrifuge rotor tubes and bellows, which the agency has verified through continuous monitoring.

Iran has continued to permit the use of on-line enrichment monitors and electronic seals which communicate their status within nuclear sites to IAEA inspectors, and to facilitate the automated collection of measurement recordings registered by installed measurement devices, the agency noted. It also said that the country has issued long-term visas to IAEA inspectors as requested, and has continued to permit the agency to monitor all uranium ore concentrate produced in Iran or obtained elsewhere.

The IAEA also noted that in February Iran had provided it with "early design information for two planned light water power reactors at Bushehr."

The estimated annual cost to the IAEA for the implementation of Iran’s Additional Protocol to its safeguards agreement and for verifying and monitoring Iran’s nuclear-related commitments as set out in the JCPOA is €9.2 million ($10 million) per annum. For 2016, all of this is to be met from "extrabudgetary" funds from IAEA member states. "As of 26 February 2016, the total amount available to the Agency for the implementation of the Additional Protocol and for verification and monitoring in relation to the JCPOA was €8.8 million," the report noted.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News