Table of Iranian Nuclear Sites and Related Facilities

March 31, 2021

Publication Type: 

  • Weapon Program Background Report

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Iran operates a number of facilities that carry out the different steps of the nuclear fuel cycle. This infrastructure includes locations where Iran mines natural uranium, plants that process uranium ore into a concentrate known as "yellowcake," and plants that convert this yellowcake into uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas. This gas is the feedstock for centrifuges that enrich uranium. Iran operates several gas centrifuge plants and accumulates enriched uranium that can be used to manufacture fuel for nuclear reactors or nuclear weapons. Iran operates several reactors for the purpose of generating electricity and conducting research for medical and industrial applications. Because of the dual-use potential of many of these facilities, however, the international community has long raised concerns that Iran could use its facilities and expertise to develop nuclear weapons.

The facilities described above are declared by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and subject to some form of inspection by the Agency. However, recent developments have highlighted the importance of accessing nuclear facilities that Iran has not declared to the IAEA. In 2019, IAEA inspectors detected uranium particles at an undeclared site in Turquzabad, near Tehran. The IAEA rejected Iran’s explanation of the nuclear material’s presence at the site as “not technically credible” and identified three additional suspicious undeclared sites, reportedly located at Abadeh, Lavisan-Shian, and Mobarakiyeh. While Iran ultimately granted the IAEA access to a pair of those sites in order to investigate the possible presence of nuclear material or activity, such access took months to negotiate. The Agency decided that there would be no verification value in accessing the third site, because it had “undergone extensive sanitization and levelling.” These latest incidents echo past access challenges for the Agency. Before the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the IAEA sought to understand the "possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program" and was often thwarted in its investigation by a lack of access to locations and key individuals.

Through the JCPOA, the IAEA was allowed access to and information about more nuclear sites in Iran. Iran agreed to provisionally implement the Agency's Additional Protocol and to allow expanded access pursuant to the JCPOA, giving IAEA inspectors the ability to request access to an undeclared site and to monitor additional nuclear commodities and components. However, Iran curtailed this arrangement in February 2021 in response to U.S. sanctions.

The table below lists Iran’s known and alleged nuclear sites and their purpose, location, and operating status.

Facility/Site

Purpose

Location

Status

Saghand Uranium Mine

extraction of uranium ore

Saghand

 

operational

Gchine Uranium Mine

extraction of uranium ore

Gchine

reported closed*

Ardakan Yellowcake Production Plant

uranium concentrate production

Ardakan

operational

Bandar Abbas Yellowcake Production Plant

uranium concentrate production

Bandar Abbas

reported closed*

Uranium Conversion Plant (UCF)

uranium conversion

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

operational

Uranium Chemistry Laboratory (UCL)

study of uranium compounds

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

confirmed closed*

Fuel Fabrication Laboratory (FFL)

fuel pellet production

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

confirmed closed*

Fuel Manufacturing Plant (FMP)

fuel production for the Arak reactor and light water reactors

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

operational

Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant (FPFP)

fuel production for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR)

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

operational

Zirconium Production Plant (ZPP)

zirconium sponge production

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

operational

Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) (30 kWt)

reportedly for isotope production

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

operational

Heavy Water Zero Power Reactor

research

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

operational

Light Water Sub-Critical Reactor (LWSCR)

research

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

operational

Graphite Sub-Critical Reactor (GSCR)

training

Isfahan Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC)

decommissioned

Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP)

uranium enrichment with gas centrifuges

Natanz

operational

Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP)

uranium enrichment with gas centrifuges

Natanz

operational

Iran Centrifuge Assembly Center (ICAC)

centrifuge assembly

Natanz

destroyed and reportedly being rebuilt

Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP)

uranium enrichment with gas centrifuges

Fordow

operational

National Center for Vacuum Technology

manufacture, testing, and calibration of vacuum equipment

Fordow

operational

National Materials Science and Engineering Research Center

testing radioactive materials

Fordow

operational

Kalaye Electric Company

gas centrifuge  development and testing

Tehran

allegedly operational

Heavy Water Production Plant (HWPP)

heavy water production (used as a moderator in nuclear reactors)

Arak

operational

Heavy Water Research Reactor (IR-40) (20 MWt)1

radioisotope production (by-products include plutonium)

Arak

redesign work ongoing

Tehran Research Reactor (TRR) (5 MWt)

radioisotope production

Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC)

operational

Jabr Ibn Hayan Multipurpose Laboratories (JHL)

research, including on uranium metal

Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC)

operational

Molybdenum, Iodine and Xenon Radioisotope Production Facility (MIX Facility)

radioisotope production

Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC)

operational

Waste Handling Facility

storage and disposal of radioactive waste

Tehran Nuclear Research Center (TNRC)

operational

Bushehr-1 (Light Water Power Reactor) (1,000 MWe)

electricity production

Bushehr

operational

Bushehr-2 (V-528 VVER-1000 Pressured Water Reactor) (974MWe)

electricity production

Bushehr

under construction

Bushehr-3 (V-528 VVER-1000 Pressured Water Reactor) (974MWe)

electricity production

Bushehr

under construction

Turquzabad site

allegedly storage of nuclear material and equipment

South of Tehran

not operational**

Parchin military complex

location of alleged nuclear weapon-related work

South of Tehran

Partially demolished

Lavisan-Shian site

location of alleged nuclear weapon-related work

Allegedly near Lavisan-Shian

reportedly demolished

Pilot uranium conversion plant

allegedly conducted uranium processing and conversion

Allegedly near Mobarakiyeh

reportedly demolished**

Abadeh site

allegedly conducted experiments relevant to nuclear weapon development

Allegedly near Abadeh

reportedly partially demolished**

Pilot Uranium Laser Enrichment Plant

uranium enrichment using lasers

Lashkar Abad

likely inactive2

Karaj Waste Storage Facility

radioactive waste storage

Karaj Nuclear Research Center for Medicine and Agriculture

operational

Anarak Near-Surface Repository

radioactive waste disposal

Anarak

operational

Facilities labeled as “reported closed” have either been declared closed by Iranian authorities or reported closed by media sources. Facilities labeled as “confirmed closed” have had their closure verified by the IAEA.

** Traces of uranium reportedly discovered on site by IAEA inspectors in 2019 or 2020.

The original design of the IR-40 Heavy Water Research Reactor was for a power of 40 megawatt thermal (MWt); the JCPOA requires that the reactor be redesigned with a power not exceeding 20 MWt.

Satellite imagery indicated activity as late as 2013 at the Pilot Uranium Laser Enrichment Plant, prompting the IAEA to visit the facility in March 2014. The JCPOA (Annex I, Section S, Paragraph 81) requires Iran to only enrich uranium using gas centrifuge technology, thereby prohibiting laser enrichment. The IAEA has made no subsequent mention of the Pilot Uranium Laser Enrichment Plant since 2014, suggesting that the facility is inactive.