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Arak Heavy Water Production Plant at Khondab

Iran’s heavy water production plant was commissioned in August 2006.  The existence of this facility was first revealed publicly by the Iranian opposition group, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), in August 2002.  ISIS then located the site in commercial satellite imagery after a wide-area search.  By United Nations Security Council resolution 1737 (2006), Iran was to suspend all work on heavy water related projects.  However, Iran has not halted this work and maintains that it has no legal obligation to do so under its safeguards agreement. Iranian officials speaking at a March 5-6, 2005 conference in Tehran said that the plant was in its first stage of operation.  As of 2010, imagery of the heavy water production plant analyzed by the IAEA indicates that it is operating.

Under traditional safeguards, heavy water production facilities are not subject to IAEA safeguards or inspection.  Under the IAEA Additional Protocol, however, they are subject to declarations and complementary access.  The IAEA monitors the status of the facility via satellite imagery.