Scientists and other staff at the Iranian uranium enrichment facility in Natanz marked “National Nuclear Day” on April 10 with speeches and a video showing lab-coated personnel singing a song written for the event commemorating colleagues who had been assassinated or otherwise lost over the years. Hours later, just before dawn on April 11, a powerful blast ripped through the facility.
According to information reaching the West, the explosion occurred next to the power source supplying the underground centrifuges of Iran’s main enrichment facility. (Iran also carries out enrichment at a plant in Qom but not in significant quantities.) The blast and ensuing fire caused extensive damage. Several hundred personnel on nighttime duty were evacuated and a search was undertaken for casualties. None were found.