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Foreign Suppliers to Iran's Nuclear Development

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Foreign Suppliers to Iran's Nuclear Development

Reactors

Azad University:

  • Under a 2/93 agreement, China transferred a HT-6B tokamak fusion research reactor to Iran. The reactor, which was installed in 1994, uses magnetic fields to confine and heat deuterium and tritium plasma fuel. "As part of their normal operations, most tokamaks remove and recycle small amounts of tritium."[1]

Bushehr:

  • In 3/98, Russia agreed in principle to construct two more nuclear reactors at the site. Construction is not expected to begin until 2003.[2]
  • In 1996, Ukraine's Turboatom was contracted by Russia's Zarubezhatomenergostroy to supply the reactor with two turbines, but the deal was cancelled in 3/98.[3]
  • In 1995, Russia and Iran signed an addendum to the Russian-Iranian reactor deal stipulating that Russia will supply Iran with $30 million worth of nuclear fuel per year between 2001-2011. The spent fuel from the reactor will be returned to Russia.[4]
  • Under a 1/95 accord, Russia agreed to complete one VVER 1,000MW reactor at the site.[5]
  • In 1995, Iran attempted to purchase power reactor components from the unfinished Zarnowiece VVER-440 reactor in Poland.[6]
  • In 1993, the Czech Republic firm Skoda discussed supplying Iran with equipment for the power plant, but the deal was cancelled in 1994.[7]
  • In 1990, Iran signed a protocol with the Spanish firm National Institute of Industry and Nuclear Equipment to complete the reactor and with Spain's National Uranium Enterprises to supply the fuel, but the deal was cancelled under US pressure.[8]
  • In the late 1980s, a consortium of Spanish, West German, and Argentine firms bid to complete the reactor, but the deal was never concluded.[9]
  • In 1976, the Italian firm Ansaldo contracted with KWU to supply eight steam condensers to the reactors, but the shipment was postponed indefinitely during the Iran-Iraq war. In 11/93, Italian customs official in Porto Marghera seized the condensers as they were en route to Iran.[10]
  • In 1974, Germany's Kraftwerke Union (KWU) began construction on two 1,300MWe reactors, but work was halted in 1979.[11]

Darkhovin (Karun/Esteghlal):

  • In 9/92, China and Iran concluded a deal for China's Qinshan Nuclear Power Company and Shangai Nuclear Research and Design Institute to construct two 300 MW pressurized water reactors. The proposed site of the reactors was later changed to Bushehr. The project has been cancelled.[12]
  • In 1974, France' Framatome agreed to construct two 950MW PWRs, but the contract was cancelled in 1979.[13]

Gorgan(Neka):

  • Under a 3/90 protocol, the Soviet Union agreed to construct two VVER-440 reactors at an unnamed site, later identified as Gorgan.[14]

Isfahan:

  • In 1994, China provided Iran with heavy water and 900g of highly enriched uranium fuel.[15]
  • In 1992, China completed construction on two subcritical reactors - an open tank facility and a reactor moderated by graphite - for Iran.[16]
  • In 1991, China agreed to supply Iran with a 20MW research reactor, but cancelled the deal in 1992 under US pressure.[17]
  • In 1985, China supplied a heavy water, zero-power research reactor, which achieved criticality in 1995. In 1997, China announced it would honor its commitment to complete the reactor. The project was scheduled to be completed by the end of the 1997.[18]
  • In 1985, China provided Iran with a 27kWt miniature neutron source reactor, which went critical in 1994. The reactor is used to produce isotopes.[19]

Moallem Kalayeh:

  • In 1991, India and Iran negotiated for the supply of a 10MWt research reactor, but the negotiations were later cancelled.[20]

TNRC:

  • Argentina and Iran negotiated for the supply of a pilot-scale heavy water production plant, but the deal was cancelled in 1992 by Argentine President Carlos Menem.[21]
  • In 1988, Argentina's Nuclear Energy Commission signed an agreement to supply 115.8kg of 20%-enriched uranium to the TNRC. The uranium was delivered in 1993.[22]
  • In 1987, Argentina's INVAP concluded an agreement to convert Iran's 5MWt research reactor from using 93% enriched uranium fuel to using 20% enriched uranium fuel.[23]
  • During 1967-79, the United States supplied Iran's 5MWt research reactor at TNRC with highly enriched uranium fuel.[24]
  • In 1967, the United States supplied a 5MWt pool-type research reactor.[25]

Unspecified Locations:

  • In 4/98, Russia announced that it had proposed construction of a research reactor in Iran that would use uranium fuel enriched to 20% or less. A contract was drafted in 1996, and is awaiting approval by the two governments.[26]
  • In 1/95, Russia agreed to construct a 30-50MW light water research reactor, and an APWS-40 desalination plant. The research reactor project was later cancelled.[27]

 

Notes:

  1. Cheng Yan, "China’s Nuclear Fusion Technology Moves into International Arena," Zhongguo Kexue Bao [Chinese Science News] (Beijing), March 8, 1995, p. 1; in JPRS-CST-95-006 (8 March 1995); Andrew Koch and Jeanette Wolf, "Iran's Nuclear Facilities: a Profile," 1998, (http://cns.miis.edu/pubs/reports/pdfs/iranrpt.pdf).

  2. "Russia to Build Reactors for Iran," Washington Times, March 7, 1998, p. A69.

  3. Intelnews, January 25, 1996; in FBIS-SOV-96-018 (25 January 1996); Michael R. Gordon, "Ukraine Decides Not to Supply Key Parts for Iranian Nuclear Reactor,"New York Times, 18 April 1997, p. A6; Russian Public Television First Channel Network (Moscow), March 6, 1998; in FBIS-SOV-98-065, (6 March 1998); "Ukraine Pulls Out of Iran N-deal," Financial Times, March 7, 1998, p. 4.

  4. "A Delegation from the Ministry of Atomic Energy…" Yaderniy Kontrol, September 1995, p. 4. Michael Eisenstadt, "Halting Russian Aid to Iran's Nuclear and Ballistic Programs," PolicyWatch, September 25, 1996, p. 3; in Rodney W. Jones, Mark G. McDonough, Toby F. Dalton, and Gregory D. Koblentz, Tracking Nuclear Proliferation: A Guide in Maps and Charts, 1998," (Washington, DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1998). P. 175.

  5. David Albright, "An Iranian Bomb?,"The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 51 (March-August 1995), p. 22; "Iran’s Odd Reactor,"Foreign Report, 15 June 1995; R. Jeffrey Smith, "Administration Concerned About Russia’s Nuclear Cooperation with Iran,"The Washington Post, 3 July 1997, p. A7.

  6. "While Western Governments…,"PPNN News Briefs (Fourth Quarter 1994), p. 16; Michael Eisenstadt, Iranian Military Power: Capabilities and Intentions (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996), p.108.

  7. CTA, October 27, 1995; in FBIS-EEU-95-211-A (10 October 1995).

  8. Angel Munoz, El Independiente, February 6, 1990, p. 4; in JPRS-TND-90-006, (16 March 1990), pp. 38-39; Andrew Koch and Jeanette Wolf, "Iran’s Nuclear Procurement Program: How Close to the Bomb," Nonprolifeation Review (Fall 1997), p. 127.

  9. Andrew Koch and Jeanette Wolf, "Iran’s Nuclear Procurement Program: How Close to the Bomb," Nonprolifeation Review (Fall 1997), p. 127.

  10. "Briefly…Italy: Demonstrators Protest Iran Shipment,"Nucleonics Week, October 29, 1987, p. 13; Giorgio Cecchetti, "Nuclear Consignment Bound for Iran Seized,"La Republica, November 12, 1993; in JPRS-TND-93-037 (8 December 1993), p. 54.

  11. Michael Eisenstadt, Iranian Military Power: Capabilities and Intentions (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996), p.14; David Schwarzbach,Iran's Nuclear Program: Energy or Weapons? (Washington, D.C.: Natural Resources Defense Council, September 7, 1995), p. 6.

  12. Mark Hibbs and Margaret L. Ryan, "Official Says China Developing Ability to Supply Entire PWRs,"Nucleonics Week, October 1, 1992, p. 4; "Iran Goes Shopping for Nuclear Technology,"Nuclear Engineering International 37 (November 1992), p. 2; Robert Shuey and Shirley A. Kahn, "Chinese Missile and Nuclear Proliferation: Issues for Congress,"CRS Issue Brief, February 12, 1996, p. 12; Shirley A. Kahn, "Chinese Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Current Policy Issues,"CRS Issue Brief, October 17, 1996, p. 4; Mark Hibbs, "China Agrees to End Nuclear Trade with Iran When Two Projects Complete," NuclearFuel, November 3, 1997, p. 3.

  13. Leonard S. Spector, Nuclear Ambitions (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1990), p. 204; Nuclear Engineering International,World Nuclear Handbook 1996, p. 22; Mark Hibbs, "Russian, Chinese Reactors Might Be Sited at Bushehr,"Nucleonics Week, October 14, 1993, p. 9.

  14. Due to seismic instabilities at the site, it was decided to construct the two reactors at Bushehr. "USSR/Iran: Iranian Say Soviets Will Aid in Nuclear," Nucleonics Week, March 15, 1990, p. 18; Andrei Khalip, Reuter, September 5, 1995; in "Work on Iran Reactor Already Started," Executive News Service, September 5, 1995; Interfax, September 5, 1995; in FBIS-TAC-95-005 (5 September 1995); David Watts, "Tehran Denies Nuclear Charges," The Times, March 15, 1993; "Agreement Signed on Bushehr, " Nuclear News 38 (March 1995), p. 4.

  15. Mark Hibbs,"U.S. Warned Not to Try Using IAEA to Isolate or Destabilize Iran,Nucleonics Week, 8 October 1992, p. 10; "Research Reactors,"Nuclear Review (April 1996), p. 17; David Schwarzbach,Iran's Nuclear Program: Energy or Weapons? (Washington, D.C.: Natural Resources Defense Council, September 7, 1995), p. 6; "Rafsanjani’s Bomb,"Mednews, June 8, 1992, p. 3.

  16. Nuclear Engineering International,World Nuclear Handbook 1996 (Surrey, U.K.: Reed Business Publishing, 1995), p. 105; Mark Hibbs, "U.S. Warned Not to Try Using IAEA to Isolate or Destabilize Iran,Nucleonics Week, p. 10.

  17. Bates Gill, Silkworms and Summitry: Chinese Arms Exports to Iran and U.S.-China Relations, (Asia and Pacific Rim Institute of the American Jewish Committee), appendix 2.

  18. In 10/97, China agreed to halt all nuclear cooperation with Iran, with the exception of a zirconium tubing factory and a research reactor project, which would be completed shortly. "China Agrees to end Nuclear Trade with Iran when Two Projects Completed," NuclearFuel, November 3, 1997, p. 3; Mark Hibbs and Neel Patri, "U.S. to Ask New Delhi to Back Off on Research Reactor Offer to Iran,"Nucleonics Week, November 21, 1991, p. 2; Nuclear Engineering International,World Nuclear Handbook 1996, (Surrey, U.K.: Reed Business Publishing, 1995), p. 105; Bates Gill, Silkworms and Summitry: Chinese Arms Exports to Iran and U.S.-China Relations, (Asia and Pacific Rim Institute of the American Jewish Committee), appendix 2.

  19. Mark Hibbs,"U.S. Warned Not to Try Using IAEA to Isolate or Destabilize Iran,Nucleonics Week, 8 October 1992, p. 10; "Research Reactors,"Nuclear Review (April 1996), p. 17; David Schwarzbach,Iran's Nuclear Program: Energy or Weapons? (Washington, D.C.: Natural Resources Defense Council, 7 September 1995), p. 6; "Rafsanjani’s Bomb,"Mednews, June 8, 1992, p. 3.;Bates Gill, Silkworms and Summitry: Chinese Arms Exports to Iran and U.S.-China Relations, (Asia and Pacific Rim Institute of the American Jewish Committee), appendix 2;Andrew Koch and Jeanette Wolf, "Iran's Nuclear Procurement Program: How Close to the Bomb?" The Nonproliferation Review, (Fall 1997), p. 130.

  20. "A Bomb For the Ayatollahs?,"The Middle East (October 1992), p. 23; "Iran's Nuclear Ambitions,"Jane's Intelligence Review: Special Report No. 6, p. 13; Michael Eisenstadt, Iranian Military Power: Capabilities and Intentions (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996), p. 13.

  21. Mark Hibbs, " Iran sought Sensitive Nuclear Supplies from Argentina, China," Nucleonics Week, September 24, 1992, p. 2-3.

  22. Claude van England, "Iran Defends Its Pursuit of Nuclear Technology,"Christian Science Monitor, February 18, 1993, p. 7.

  23. "INVAP Fears Bankruptcy after Shipment Is Halted,"Nuclear Engineering International 37 (June 1992), p. 12; "Argentina Strikes a Deal with Iran,"Nuclear Engineering International 32 (July 1987), p. 4; Richard Kessler, "General Atomic, INVAP Explore Research Reactor, Nuclear Ties,"Nucleonics Week, 4 April 1992, p. 15; "Argentina Confirms Deal for work on Bushehr," Nuclear News, July 1987, p. 54.

  24. Michael Eisenstadt, Iranian Military Power: Capabilities and Intentions (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996), p. 11; David Schwarzbach,Iran's Nuclear Program: Energy or Weapons? (Washington, D.C.: Natural Resources Defense Council, 7 September 1995), pp. 5-6, 52.

  25. Michael Eisenstadt, Iranian Military Power: Capabilities and Intentions (Washington, D.C.: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1996), p. 11; David Schwarzbach,Iran's Nuclear Program: Energy or Weapons? (Washington, D.C.: Natural Resources Defense Council, 7 September 1995), pp. 5-6, 52.

  26. "Russia Plans New Reactor in Iran, Official Says," Washington Post, April 7, 1998, p. 18.

  27. David Albright, "An Iranian Bomb?,"The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 51 (March-August 1995), p. 22; "Iran’s Odd Reactor,"Foreign Report, 15 June 1995; R. Jeffrey Smith, "Administration Concerned About Russia’s Nuclear Cooperation with Iran,"The Washington Post, 3 July 1997, p. A7.

Prepared by Michael Barletta and Christina Ellington, November 1998
© Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies.


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