Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant

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Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (FFEP) is an uranium enrichment facility located 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the Iranian city of Qom, near Fordow village.[1] The site was revealed in September 2009.[2] It is the second Iranian uranium enrichment facility, the other one being that of Natanz.

In January 2012 the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran had started producing uranium enriched up to 20% for medical purposes and that material "remains under the agency's containment and surveillance.”[3]

Google Maps satellite images for the Fordo site can be found at coordinates 34.885649,50.99669. Images zoomed to the 20 meter level show a large double fence perimeter border erected around the site with towers located every 25 meters. Six 10 meter wide entry portals to the complex are located within the fenced area, as well as several buildings, the largest of which is approximately 5,500 square metres (59,000 sq ft).

Iranian authorities state the facility is built deep in a mountain because of repeated threats by Israel to attack such facilities, which Israel believes can be used to produce nuclear weapons.[4] However, attacking a nuclear facility so close to the city of Qom which is considered so holy between Shia Muslims brings concern of a potential risk of a Shiite religious response.[5]

In November 2013, hundreds of Iranians, mostly students of Sharif University of Technology, accompanied by Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, and several Majles (parliament) representatives formed a human chain around Fordow uranium enrichment facility.[6][7]

The Fordow plant was to be restructured to less intensive research use, as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of April 2015.

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Coordinates: 34°53′04″N 50°59′53″E / 34.8845°N 50.9981°E / 34.8845; 50.9981