Iran’s Nuclear Program: Secrets That Could Kill

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Iran may be hiding extensive nuclear assets: Photo Courtesy of the CIA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is trying to find out Iran’s secrets, but it’s having problems finding the truth. The talks in Baghdad between Iran and six world powers (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom, France and Germany) were unsuccessful. More talks are planned in June, but a similar demise may be inevitable.

The diplomatic effort to persuade Iran to curtail its nuclear program, quit producing enriched U-235 and let the IAEA tour the suspected site, Parchin, have all failed.

Iran was not prepared to make any concessions in these talks, and will continue its enrichment program, as the Iranian government has stated.

Iran has also recently decided to build two new nuclear power plants.“We have no reason to cede on 20 percent, because we produce only as much of the 20 percent fuel as we need. No more, no less,” Fereydoon Abbasi Davani was quoted as saying late Saturday by the ISNA and Mehr news agencies.

20 Percent Enrichment: What Does It Mean?

U-235 is needed for Iran’s nuclear power fuel, medical isotope production and bomb generation, all with varying enrichment percentages.

Nuclear reactors require 3-5 % of U-235 enrichment, medical isotope production around 20%, and bomb grade U-235 must be 85-90 % enriched. The process to get to 20% U-235 enrichment is within technical reach of getting to the 90 % required for bomb-making through advanced gas centrifuge techniques. And, to make matters even more serious, Iran is stockpiling this enriched uranium.

They say that they are stockpiling enriched uranium for the purpose of producing byt have continued to deny requests to tour the Parchin Complex in Iran.

Is Iran enriching weapon-grade uranium? Photo courtesy of DOE

Iran’s Parchin Complex

Located approximately 20 kilometers southeast of Tehran, the Parchin complex is a military facility used for the testing and manufacturing of explosives.

On November 1, 2005, the IAEA was given access, took samples and found no indication of the presence of nuclear material.

Today, however, Iran consistently refuses entrance to this facility. The IAEA believes there is good reason to visit this site, and that there may be experiments for developing nuclear weapons.

Extensive activities have been discovered by satellite, and the IAEA suspects nuclear weapons-relevant research.

Fordow: Underground Uranium Enrichment Facility

 Near the city of Qom, Fordow is the site of an underground uranium enrichment facility. Reports have emerged that Iran has hooked up 368 new centrifuges for U-235 enrichment, a significant increase to the enrichment capabilities at this site.

Iran may be enriching uranium for weapons. Photo courtesy of GNU-FDL

Nuclear Dangers and Iran: Restating the Obvious

Iran will not allow the IAEA to tour the Parchin site, but we can see by satellite pictures that a significant amount of activity is taking place there.

The Fordow site is expanding in its capability for U-235 enrichment, and Iran is stockpiling its 20 % enriched U-235.

Now, Iran has announced that they will be building two new nuclear power plants.

Finally, Iran wants no sanctions against their enrichment program, yet is unwilling to negotiate. Does the world have reason to worry about the potential for a nuclear weapon for Iran? You betcha.

Sources

Paktribune. No reason’ to cede on 20pc enriched uranium: Iran. (2012). Accessed May 29, 2012.

Erdbrink, T. Iran won’t halt high-grade enrichment. (2012). Chronicle Herald. Accessed May 29, 2012.

Dareini A. A. Iran stands by uranium goal. (2012). Associated Press. Accessed May 29, 2012.

Sly, L., Warrick, J. Iran nuclear talks: World powers to continue discussion, but no progress on a deal. (2012). Washington Post. Accessed May 29, 2012.

Reuters. IAEA: Iran boosting sensitive nuclear Capacity. (2012). Accessed May 29, 2012.

Reuters. Iran starts moving uranium centrifuges to bunker. (2011). Accessed May 29, 2012.

RT. Iran military base: Sinister cover-up or just a harmless clean-up? (2012).  Accessed May 29, 2012.

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