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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Kalaye Electric Company

Kalaye Electric Company, on the southern outskirts of the capital, Tehran, is a supplier to Iran's weapons industry. In early 2003 Iran admited that some centrifuge components were made at a workshop of the Kalaye Electric Company in Tehran. During the discussions in Iran in February 2003 between DDG-SG and the Iranian authorities, reference was made by the Agency to information in open sources on the possible conduct of enrichment activities at the workshop of the Kalaye Electric Company in Tehran. The Iranian authorities acknowledged that the workshop had been used for the production of centrifuge components, but stated that there had been no operations in connection with its centrifuge enrichment development programme involving the use of nuclear material, either at the Kalaye Electric Company or at any other location in Iran. According to the Iranian authorities, all testing had been carried out using simulation studies. While a centrifuge component production facility is not a nuclear facility required to be declared to the Agency under Iran's NPT Safeguards Agreement, Iran was requested, in light of its stated policy of transparency, to permit the Agency to visit the workshop and to take environmental samples there to assist the Agency in verifying Iran's declaration and confirming the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. The request was initially declined.

In February 2003, Iran acknowledged that the workshop of the Kalaye Electric Company in Tehran had been used for the production of centrifuge components, but stated that there had been no testing of these components involving the use of nuclear material, either at the Kalaye Electric Company or at any other location in Iran. According to Iran, its enrichment programme was indigenous and based on information from open sources.

In March 2003, during an Agency visit to the workshop at the Kalaye Electric Company, the Iranian authorities refused Agency access to one of the workshop buildings, claiming that the building was used for storage and that no keys to the building were available.

IAEA inspectors left Iran on 21 June 2003 after Iranian officials refused to let them visit the Kalaye Electric Company facility in Tehran. The inspectors had been refused the opportunity to take environmental samples at Kalaye. The IAEA had requested permission to take samples at a workshop at Kalaye where Iran had admitted to constructing components for centrifuges designed for enriching uranium. Iran was requested, in light of its stated policy of transparency, to permit the agency to visit the workshop and to take environmental samples there to assist the agency in ... confirming the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities. The request was initially denied. The Iranian authorities told the agency that Iran considered such visits, and the requested environmental sampling, as being obligatory only when an Additional Protocol was in force. Iran initially indicated it would allow the IAEA team to take samples at Kalaye during their June 7-11 inspections, but then refused to allow the team to take samples.

During their 9-12 August 2003 visit to Iran, IAEA inspectors were permitted to take environmental samples at the Kalaye Electric Company workshop, with a view to assessing the role of that company in Iran's enrichment R&D programme. The results of the analysis of these samples are not yet available. It was noted by inspectors that there had been considerable modification of the premises since their first visit in March 2003. Iranian authorities have informed the Agency that these modifications are attributable to the fact that the workshop is being transformed from use as a storage facility to its use as a laboratory for non-destructive analysis. This modification may impact on the accuracy of the environmental sampling and the Agency's ability to verify Iran's declarations about the types of activities previously carried out there.

On 16 September 2003, the Agency met representatives of Iran to discuss the results of the analysis of the environmental samples taken at the Kalaye Electric Company in August 2003, which had revealed the presence of high enriched uranium (HEU) particles and low enriched uranium (LEU) particles which were not consistent with the nuclear material in the declared inventory of Iran.

Between 13 and 22 October 2003, an Agency inspection team conducted safeguards inspections at PFEP and other facilities in Esfahan and Tehran. These inspections included follow up activities related to the HEU and LEU particles found at the Kalaye Electric Company and at Natanz and to the newly acknowledged existence of nuclear material resulting from uranium conversion experiments.

On 16 October 2003, at the invitation of the Iranian Government, the Director General met in Tehran with H.E. Dr. H. Rohani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, to discuss the open issues requiring urgent resolution. These issues related to the use of nuclear material in the testing of centrifuges (including the presence of LEU and HEU particles at the Kalaye Electric Company and at Natanz); the testing of conversion processes; the purpose of uranium metal production; the existence of laser isotope enrichment; and details of Iran's heavy water reactor programme.

In a letter to the Director General dated 21 October 2003, Iran acknowledged that: between 1998 and 2002 it had carried out some testing of centrifuges at the Kalaye Electric Company using UF6 imported in 1991; between 1991 and 2000 it had had a laser enrichment programme, in the course of which it had used 30 kg of uranium metal not previously declared to the Agency; and between 1988 and 1992 it had irradiated 7 kg of UO2 targets and extracted small quantities of plutonium. Attached to the letter was significant additional information with respect to those activities, as well as information concerning Iran's conversion and heavy water reactor programmes.

In its letter of 21 October 2003, Iran acknowledged that "a limited number of tests, using small amounts of UF6, [had been] conducted in 1999 and 2002" at the Kalaye Electric Company. In a meeting with enrichment technology experts held during the 27 October-1 November 2003 visit, Iranian authorities explained that the experiments that had been carried out at the Kalaye Electric Company had involved the 1.9 kg of imported UF6, the absence of which the State authorities had earlier attempted to conceal by attributing the loss to evaporation due to leaking valves on the cylinders containing the gas (see GOV/2003/63, para. 18). The equipment used between 1999 and 2000 at Kalaye Electric Company was suitable for pilot scale uranium isotope separation. As an isotope separation plant is defined in Article 98.I.(a) of the Safeguards Agreement as a facility, the existence of this facility should have been declared to the Agency.

As mentioned above, environmental samples taken by the Agency at PFEP and at the Kalaye Electric Company revealed particles of HEU and LEU indicating the possible presence in Iran of nuclear material that had not been declared to the Agency. The Iranian authorities attributed the presence of these particles to contamination originating from centrifuge components which had been imported by Iran. In connection with its efforts to verify that information, the Agency requested, and Iran provided in October 2003, a list of imported and domestically produced centrifuge components, material and equipment, and an indication of the batches of items that Iran claims to have been the source of the contamination. The Agency carried out another sample taking campaign in October 2003, at which time all major imported and domestically produced components, as well as various pieces of manufacturing equipment, were sampled.

The IAEA report of 10 November 2003 found that Iran had failed to report the use of imported natural UF6 for the testing of centrifuges at the Kalaye Electric Company in 1999 and 2002, and the consequent production of enriched and depleted uranium. It also found that Iran had failed to provide design information for the centrifuge testing facility at the Kalaye Electric Company.

Some reports place the Kalaye Electric Company at Ab Ali, situated at a distance of 75 Kilometers east of Tehran. The first ski area in Iran in which mechanical ski lifts were installed in 1332 (1953) was Ab Ali. Prior to that, typically, since the region enjoyed favorable climatic condition in summer, sportsmen and those who liked mountainous areas and skiing rushed to the region for its recreational facilities. Since Ab Ali is situated on the road of Tehran-North, many sportsmen were familiar with Ab Ali. Specific characteristics such as thermal spring water, Imam-Zade Hashem Holy Shrine and etc, have made the region much distinctive from other ski fields of Iran. This region is the birthplace of modern ski and the base of ski sport in Iran.




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