Some people are not going to be happy about this.
In the interview I cited in “this post,”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/1403/iran-still-does-not-have-3000-centrifuges Gholamreza Aqazadeh indicated that Iran is still working on new types of centrifuges and intends to build new uranium conversion facilities.
Iran has made similar centrifuge comments “in the past,”:http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2006_05/iransecuritycouncil.asp but I think this interview [full text in comments] provides a glance at Iran’s current R&D efforts.
Here’s the relevant portion:
[Anchorman] Mr Aqazadeh, how many thousand centrifuges is needed to produce the fuel for a 1,000 megawatts power plant? Does it need to be four thousand centrifuges or three thousand is enough?
[Aqazadeh] It depends on the type of the machine. I mean there are some old generation machines which require more. Because the amount of fuel it produces is low. Imagine if we inject 80 grams of UF6 in a chain to achieve five per cent enrichment we would get one eighth or one tenth of this amount. And in order to get the required fuel we would have to increase the number of chains. *If the new generation machines, especially those which are Kevlar [as heard] and are of synthetic material and the world are relying on them, suddenly you see that the same machines can provide fuel for three or four power plants instead of one. It means that both their intake and output are great. Therefore this is an industry that we need to keep ourselves upgraded through research. We should work on new generations, technologies. I can tell our people that we have passed the stage of complete mastery over designing the machines.*
[Aqazadeh] As I already said this depends on the type of machines we use. *With the present generation of machines we can produce one-fifth of the needed fuel.* I cannot exactly give you the answer, but if we know what type of machines we are talking about, then I can give you an answer.
*There are machines on which we are working. If we develop the appropriate machines, because of their great capabilities, we will quickly be in need of far less number of machines. We are considering a 20 year perspective. In view of the rapid development of new generation of machines in Iran, we may be able to say in the near future that we have achieved the capability to produce a generation of equipment that need far less number of machines.* Based on our developed capabilities, we would then be able to speak more seriously about the 1,200 tons of fuel and that how much of it can be produced within the country.
Presumably, the “synthetic material” refers to the P-2 centrifuge (or something similar), “the rotor of which is made of carbon fiber.”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1386/pimp-my-cascade
The increased SWU capacity of the new centrifuges that Aqazadeh hints at also suggests that he’s talking about P-2’s (and probably more-advanced centrifuges as well).
Mark Fitzpatrick drew a similar conclusion “in _Survival_”:http://www.world-nuclear.org/reference/pdf/fitzpatrick.pdf from President Ahmadinejad’s April 2006 claim that Iran was working on improved centrifuges ” ‘that would quadruple Iran’s enrichment power.’ ” Fitzpatrick noted that the “German-origin P-2 centrifuges…are rated at 5 SWU,” which is considerably “more than”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1032/collected-thoughts-on-iranian-leu Iran’s P-1.
Anyhow, stop reading blogs and watch “this instead.”:http://www.kickedinthenuts.com/index.asp