Iran’s advances in nuclear technology spark new concerns

Iran’s apparent gains in centrifuge technology have heightened concerns
that the government is working clandestinely on a uranium-enrichment
plant capable of producing more nuclear fuel at a much faster pace, the
officials said.

U.N. nuclear monitors have not been allowed to examine the new
centrifuge, which Iranian officials briefly put on display at a news
conference last month. But an expert group’s analysis of the machine —
based on photos — suggests that it could be up to five times as
productive as the balky centrifuges Iran currently uses to enrich

Assuming the country has so far produced only prototypes of the
centrifuge, it will probably take two years, or more, for Iran to
assemble enough machines to make sufficient enriched uranium for a
nuclear weapon. After that, though, Iran would be in a position to ramp
up production dramatically, depending on how many machines it decides to

Using its existing centrifuges, Iran has made more than two tons of
low-enriched uranium, an amount that officials say could be further
enriched to produce enough weapons-grade material for a single nuclear
bomb, even as the government insists that its nuclear program is
exclusively for energy production.

Iran’s progress on a new centrifuge coincides with a marked decline in
activity at its two known uranium-enrichment plan…

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