Report: Iran building new uranium enrichment facility in Natanz

Artificial intelligence and machine learning enable the tracking of what is being done at the nuclear sites in Iran, even underground

A combination of artificial intelligence and machine learning is helping researchers and scientists discover and uncover activities at Iran's nuclear facilities, says Allison Puccioni from the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) in a new report. According to the report, it is possible that Iran is between 18 and 24 months away from completing a new underground centrifuge assembly hall next to its nuclear facilities in Natanz.  

The center's report, whose findings were published by the Defense One website, said that Iran is now able to expand its ability to enrich uranium despite a number of failures and other setbacks that Iran has blamed on sabotage. The new facility, located south of the main facility in Natanz, is being built deep within a mountain, hidden from imaging satellites.    

Experts from the Center for International Security and Cooperation used artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to help them collect data from satellite imagery of the work underway at the new underground centrifuge site and process it, including tracking of the excavations. The work started between August and September of last year. A very large number of trucks arrived at the site during the first three months, almost 10 times the number that had arrived previously, due to the digging work at the site.  

The experts estimated that the Iranians will start building the centrifuge assembly hall in the near future, and apparently start operating the centrifuges in 18 months to two years. The Center for International Security and Cooperation said that the combination of satellite imagery and various data sources, including open sources on social media, along with artificial intelligence, enable much more comprehensive tracking of what is being done at Iranian nuclear sites.     

In conclusion, the center said that is Iran is working hard to maintain its nuclear enrichment capability and reinforce its capability to develop nuclear weapons.

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