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Reconstructing Fordow: The Fuel Enrichment Plant as never seen before



Background


In Early 2018 Israel's National intelligence agency Mossad stole documents from a warehouse outside of Tehran now widely known as "Iran's Nuclear archive". The large cache included some 55,000 pages of documents and a further 55,000 files on CDs that included photos and videos. The archive which was partially released to a few think tanks and institutions contained documents detailing Iran's "Amad plan".


Under Iran’s Amad Super organizational Plan, Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant (Project 4/402 Code name Al Ghadir) was built with the intention and purpose to make weapon-grade uranium for 1-2 nuclear weapons per year.


Layout



The institute for science and international security released images of drawings and plans from the original Iranian plans for the Fordow enrichment plant in a report in 2019 .These included three crucial drawings, The first drawing enabled me to align the plant's location with satellite imagery from 2005 when the plant was under excavation. The second drawing was a more detailed overview of the Plant's centrifuge halls and surrounding sections, Measurements are also visible in the second drawing which enabled me to model the entire plant to real-world scale.


Although the initial plans give a good idea of the plants overall layout, No information was available regarding the floorplan of the facility or where other elements of the plant were located except the enrichment cascades which were visible in the original plans. This left us with having to fill in significant gaps but we tried to stick to the original plans as much as possible. Assumptions were based on engineering standards and good practices to bridge the gap between the existing known materials and the uncertainty of the existing situation on site.


Reconstruction

Overview of the Fordow fuel enrichment plant (FFEP)
Overview of the Fordow fuel enrichment plant (FFEP)

Autoclaves for heating UF6

IR-1 Centrifuges Cascade
IR-1 Centrifuges Cascade

IR-6 Centrifuges cascade



Backup generators and UF6 container maintenance
Backup generators and UF6 container maintenance


Raw and Enriched UF6 container storage
Raw and Enriched UF6 container storage


Work on this reconstruction included having to model the Enrichment plant, HVAC system with ventilation shafts, Enrichment cascades with two types of centrifuges and the connected complex piping network, Autoclaves, Cooling systems and administrative facilities.



This reconstruction was done in collaboration with The Intel lab. I would like to thank everyone else who contributed or helped me with reconstruction.



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