Iran Set to Start Converting Low-Enriched Uranium to Fuel

Plant Will Process What Remains of Iran's Stockpile

As Iran’s civilian nuclear stockpile continues to dwindle, the bar is continually raised by warmongers looking to paint anything and everything as a conceivable proliferation risk. At the same time, those thin excuses are getting even thinner.

Last week the IAEA confirmed that Iran’s 20 percent enriched stockpile is almost entirely gone, converted into fuel rods for the Tehran Research Reactor. Now what remains, Iran’s low-enriched stockpile at 3.5 percent, is about to start conversion as well.

Iran’s plant for the conversion of 3.5 percent enriched uranium gas into uranium oxide fuel, for the Bushehr Power Plant, is expected to open in June, and Iran has already moved roughly half of its gas stockpile to the site in anticipation of that.

The 3.5 percent enriched uranium was never any real “threat” to begin with, as nuclear weapons require enrichment in excess of 90 percent, something Iran has never even attempted. Still, the conversion of the gas into oxide will remove yet another talking point that hawks have relied on to keep scaring people about Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.