Iranian President Mohamed Ahmadinjed, aka A-Bomb, has announced that Iran has produced the first “consignment” of 20 percent highly enriched uranium (HEU). I don’t know what a consignment is, but I would think in this case, it is less than a kilogram.
Arms Control Wonk.com has obtained GOV/INF/2010/2 — the 10 February IAEA document on Iran’s preparations to create highly enriched uranium.
Amano notes that IAEA inspectors were informed on 10 February (talk about quick turnaround!) that Iran was feeding UF6 into one cascade for passivation purposes. For those of you who don’t remember, reader Russel provided a fine description of passivation:
One of the preparatory processes that is required before using a centrifuge component for the first time is “passivation” – which basically involves bathing any UF6 exposed bits in UF6 so that anything with a remaining potential to react will react in a controllable environment rather than in the vacuum system.
The Iranians told the IAEA the would be begin to produce HEU “within a few days.” Hence A-Bomb’s announcement.
For more, David Albright and Jacqueline Shire have published an analysis of Iran’s potential HEU production and its implications.
Update | 12:38 pm George Jahn has a story on the document. Of course, we have the full text!