May 24, 2019 | Visual

Iranian Pathway to a Nuclear Weapon Under the Amad Plan–What we learned from the Nuclear Archives

May 24, 2019 | Visual

Iranian Pathway to a Nuclear Weapon Under the Amad Plan–What we learned from the Nuclear Archives

Overview

In the early 2000s, Iran’s was building a substantial nuclear weapons production complex under the “Amad Plan” to manufacture five nuclear weapons and prepare an underground nuclear test site, all to be finished by early 2004 (on five weapons, read the full report or the summary.) Under international pressure, Iran secretly downsized and reoriented this nuclear weapons program into more camouflaged parts, some or all of which may continue today in reduced form (on reorientation, read the full report or summary.)

Pathway Schematic

This chart generally flows from the top to the bottom, ending with a nuclear warhead on a Shahab-3 missile. Some activities occur simultaneously and are therefore presented on the same level.

Notes and Comments

  1. This pathway does not include the design, testing, and development facilities involved in the steps of converting and enriching uranium, or making nuclear weapon components from natural and enriched uranium. For example, as part of the Amad Plan, Iran operated an above ground centrifuge R&D facility and a development facility for uranium metallurgy, casting, and forming.
  2. Low-enriched uranium
  3. It is not clear if this was part of the weapons program or part of a conventional military industry, where high explosive components were built under contract according to designs provided by the nuclear weapons program.
  4. Under the Amad Plan, Iran also operated above ground facilities involved in developing and testing uranium metal production and melting, as well as uranium metal casting and machining components of nuclear weapons. As of mid-2003, the archive documentation supports that the above ground facility dedicated to developing uranium-based nuclear weapons components had only operated with uranium surrogate materials.
  5. It is currently unknown where these parts were made.
  6. The location of the site which manufactured uranium deuteride (project 3/20) is not currently known.

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Schematic

Issues:

Iran Iran Missiles Iran Nuclear