“US renews efforts to ensure Iran runs out of yellowcake by 2010”

“US renews efforts to ensure Iran runs out of yellowcake by 2010”
July 23, 2009
     Barak Ravid reports that the US has issued a written request to 10 uranium-producing states to limit uranium exports to Iran, indicating that Iran will run out of yellowcake, a uranium concentrate used for uranium enrichment, sometime in 2010. The document—issued to Canada, Russia, Australia, the EU3, Kazakhstan, and three other unnamed countries—states that Iran’s uranium reserves are “insufficient” for maintaining the current nuclear reactor program for a sustained period of time (Haaretz). Similar efforts by the US, Canada, Australia and the EU3 to limit Iran’s access to yellowcake were reported in January. Those efforts focused on Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, both major producers of uranium (Times Online). Israel believes Venezuela and Bolivia have also supplied Iran with uranium, although the two states have denied the accusations (Associated Press).
     A February report by David Albright, Jacqueline Shire and Paul Brannan concludes that Iran is close to exhausting its supplies of yellowcake and uranium oxide. Outlining the state of production at two major uranium mines, the report states that while domestic output is insufficient for powering a civilian nuclear reactor, such as the Bushehr reactor, Iran has enough uranium for a latent nuclear weapons capability (ISIS NuclearIran). However, in March, Iran announced that 400 uranium mines had been identified nationwide and would be sufficient for meeting domestic demand for “tens of years” (IRNA).
Haaretz | Times Online | Associated Press | ISIS NuclearIran | IRNA

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