Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP)

View All Iran Facilities

Last Updated: August 21, 2013
Other Name: N/A
Location: Isfahan (Esfahan)
Subordinate To: Atomic Energy Organization of Iran
Size: Unknown
Facility Status: Operational

The Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP) is the primary center for nuclear fuel production in Iran. On 9 April 2009, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad officially inaugurated the FMP, although the IAEA reported that the plant had been making fuel prior to Iran's formal declaration. [1] The FMP produces natural uranium fuel rods for the IR-40 research reactor at Arak, [2] and could potentially manufacture fuel for the low enriched uranium-fueled Bushehr reactor, although Iran has agreed to accept Russian fuel for Bushehr. [3]

In a letter dated 5 May 2003, Iran informed the IAEA for the first time of its intention to construct the FMP at Isfahan (Esfahan). By November 2008, then-head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Gholam Reza Aghazadeh announced that Iran had produced the first nuclear fuel pellets for use in the IR-40 reactor. [4] The Uranium Conversion Facility at Esfahan provides the feedstock, and the core fuel assemblies are made from natural UO2, requiring no enrichment before engineers turn the uranium into fuel rods. [5]

On 23 May 2009 the IAEA concluded that the FMP, with the exception of the final quality control testing area, had been completed, and that one fuel assembly had been assembled. [6] On 11 August 2009, the Agency conducted both a physical inventory verification (PIV) and design information verification (DIV) at the FMP, and concluded that the final quality control equipment had been installed. [7] According to a November 2010 IAEA report, results of the PIV and DIV indicated that the inventory of nuclear material at the FMP is consistent with Iranian declarations. [8]

As of May 2013, Iran is still conducting fuel manufacturing activities at the FMP in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. Notably, Iran has constructed 37 prototype natural uranium fuel assemblies at the FMP for initial testing and eventual integration into the IR-40 reactor. [9]

Sources:
[1] Nazila Fathi, "Iran Opens First Plant to Produce Atomic Fuel," The New York Times, 10 April 2009, section A, p. 9.
[2] Nazila Fathi, "Iran Opens First Plant to Produce Atomic Fuel," The New York Times, 10 April 2009, section A, p. 9.
[3] "Iran Seeks to Export Nuclear Fuel," BBC Monitoring Trans Caucuses Unit, 21 April 2009.
[4] Judith Perera, "West Turns on Iran," Nuclear Engineering International, 9 January 2008.
[5] International Atomic Energy Agency, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran," Report by the Director General, 10 November 2003, www.iaea.org; Nazila Fathi, "Iran Opens First Plant to Produce Atomic Fuel," The New York Times, 10 April 2009, section A, p. 9.
[6] International Atomic Energy Agency, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran," Report by the Director General, 5 June 2009, www.iaea.org.
[7] International Atomic Energy Agency, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran," Report by the Director General, 28 August 2009, www.iaea.org.
[8] International Atomic Energy Agency, "Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions of Security Council Resolutions 1737 (2006), 1747 (2007), 1803 (2008), and 1835 (2008) in the Islamic Republic of Iran," Report by the Director General, 23 November 2010, www.iaea.org.
[9] "Report on the Implementation of Safeguards in the Islamic Republic of Iran," International Atomic Energy Agency, 22 May 2013, iaea.org; David Albright and Christina Walrond, "Update on the Arak Reactor," Institute for Science and International Security, 15 July 2013, www.isis-online.org.

Country Profile
Flag of Iran
Iran

This article provides an overview of Iran's historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →

This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2017.