| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Iran escalates enrichment with adaptable machines at Fordow, IAEA reports

Iran has increased its uranium enrichment by using sophisticated equipment at its underground Fordow reactor that can switch between enrichment stages more readily, according to a U.N. atomic watchdog report reviewed by Reuters on Saturday.

According to a confidential IAEA report to member states, the agency confirmed on Saturday that Iran had started supplying uranium hexafluoride gas enriched to up to 5% into the cascade, or cluster, of 166 IR-6 centrifuges with allegedly changed sub-headers at Fordow.

Iran has informed the IAEA it plans to use the machines to enrich to up to 20% purity, the report said, less than the up to 60% it is producing elsewhere and the roughly 90% of weapons grade. But Western diplomats have repeatedly expressed concern about the modified sub-headers because they make it possible to switch to higher purity levels much more easily and quickly.

  • Reuters