November 8, 2011 / 6:04 PM / 6 years ago

Timeline - Iran's nuclear programme

(Reuters) - Here is a timeline on Iran’s nuclear program in the last year:

November 23, 2010 - An IAEA report says Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on November 22 that 28 cascades, or interlinked units of centrifuges, normally 164 in number, are now enriching uranium.

-- Iran tells inspectors it has produced around 7,017 pounds (3,183 kg) of LEU since February 2007, about 840 pounds (380 kg) more than at the start of August. That amount is enough for at least two atom bombs, if enriched to 90 percent fissile purity.

December 5 - Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi says Iran will use domestically produced uranium concentrates, known as yellowcake, for the first time at a key nuclear facility, cutting reliance on imports of the ingredient for nuclear fuel.

December 6 - Talks begin in Geneva between Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who is leading the discussions for the six world powers.

January 21, 2011 - The six powers fail to prise any concessions from Iran, such as limits on enrichment activity and transparency about it, in talks. The EU and U.S. call the talks disappointing and saying no further meetings are planned.

February 28 - Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says he held fruitful and frank discussions with his EU counterpart, Ashton, that he hopes will lead to further talks.

April 8 - Nuclear fuel is again loaded into Iran’s Russian-built reactor at Bushehr after a series of delays to its launch.

April 9 - Iran holds annual celebration of nuclear program, announcing the production and testing of second and third generation centrifuges -- the machines which enrich uranium to a purity needed to power nuclear reactors, or even up to nuclear weapons grade.

May 24 - The IAEA says it has received new information about possible military aspects to Iran’s atomic activities. Its report also shows Iran amassing more low-enriched uranium, despite increased international sanctions.

June 9 - Russia and China join Western powers in telling Iran its “consistent failure” to comply with U.N. resolutions “deepened concerns” about possible military dimensions to its nuclear program.

The statement was issued a day after Iran said it would triple production of higher-grade uranium and shift it to an underground bunker, protected from possible air strikes.

July 12 - Salehi says he held “very fruitful” discussions with Yukiya Amano, the IAEA director general, and they had agreed to explore ways to help resolve outstanding issues.

The IAEA gives a different picture, saying in a brief statement that Amano had “reiterated the agency’s position on the issues where Iran is not meeting its obligations.”

August 3 - Iran has no intention of making an atomic bomb and its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says in a television interview.

August 22 -- Iran says it is transferring centrifuges from its only enrichment plant at Natanz to a new underground, bunkered facility at Fordow with full observance of non-proliferation safeguards.

August 23 - Iran allows IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts rare access to a facility for developing advanced enrichment machines during a tour of all of the country’s main atomic sites, an Iranian envoy says.

September 3 - After many years of delays, the Bushehr nuclear plant begins to provide electricity to the national grid, with a power of around 60 megawatts, state news agency IRNA reports.

September 22 - Ahmadinejad, speaking at the United Nations, says Tehran will stop producing 20 percent enriched uranium if it is guaranteed fuel for a medical research reactor, seeking to revive a fuel swap deal that fell apart in 2009.

October 18 - Iran’s nuclear program is struggling with low-performing centrifuges but would still be able to produce material usable in atom bombs, says a report by the Institute for Science and International Security, a U.S. think tank.

October 21 - Iran plans to soon start moving nuclear material to its underground Fordow site for the pursuit of sensitive atomic activities, diplomatic sources say.

The first batch of uranium hexafluoride gas (UF6) -- material which is fed into machines used to refine uranium -- is to be transferred to Fordow site near the holy city of Qom in preparation for launching enrichment work there.

November 8 - IAEA releases a report saying Iran has worked on developing a nuclear weapon design, and testing and other research relevant for nuclear arms, and some of the activities may still be going on.

Reporting by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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