Iran has recovered quickly from the reported cyber-attack that targeted its nuclear facility in Natanz last year, according to a report published this morning. The country is now back to “steady or even slightly elevated production levels” at its uranium-enrichment plant, the Washington Post cited the world’s nuclear watchdog as saying.
An International Atomic Energy Agency report said video surveillance cameras at the site showed workers dismantling more than 10 per cent of the Natanz plant’s 9,000 centrifuges and replacing them with hundreds of new machines.
The remarkable footage was captured from late 2009 to spring 2010, when the so-called Stuxnet worm is thought to have wreaked havoc on the plants industrial controllers, sending the centrifuges needed for uranium enrichment spinning wildly out of control.
The sophisticated computer worm is believed to have been the work of Israel, although no direct connection has been proven.
But the new report appeared to raise serious doubts about whether the damage would have any major effect.
“They have been able to quickly replace broken machines,” said a Western diplomat with access to confidential IAEA reports.
Despite the setbacks, “the Iranians appeared to be working hard to maintain a constant, stable output” of low-enriched uranium, the official was quoted as saying.