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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-11 08:19 PM
Original message
Iran has produced 40 kg of 20% enriched uranium
Iran has produced 40 kg of 20% enriched uranium
English.news.cn 2011-01-08 20:52:49

TEHRAN, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and acting Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced Saturday that the country has so far produced almost 40 kg of 20 percent enriched uranium to supply fuel to the Tehran research reactor, local semi-official Fars news agency reported.

"We have produced about 40 kg of 20 percent (enriched) uranium and we hope to witness the injection of the first batch of Iran- made 20 percent fuel to the Tehran research reactor soon," Fars quoted Salehi as saying.

Salehi also said that Tehran is preparing to resume talks with the Vienna Group (the U.S., Russia, France and the International Atomic Energy Agency) on the swap of nuclear fuel for the Tehran research reactor.

The more they (the Vienna Group) delay in holding a new round of negotiations with Iran, "the more progress we make in fuel production and after a while the issue of fuel swap will become meaningless," Salehi said.

Stressing that Iran is one of the few countries ...

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-01/08/...


Over the next 50 years, unless patterns change dramatically, energy production and use will contribute to global warming through large-scale greenhouse gas emissions hundreds of billions of tonnes of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. Nuclear power could be one option for reducing carbon emissions. At present, however, this is unlikely: nuclear power faces stagnation and decline. ...

We did not analyze other options for reducing carbon emissions renewable energy sources, carbon sequestration,and increased energy efficiency and therefore reach no conclusions about priorities among these efforts and nuclear power. In our judgment, it would be a mistake to exclude any of these four options at this time.

STUDY FINDINGS
For a large expansion of nuclear power to succeed,four critical problems must be overcome:

Cost. In deregulated markets, nuclear power is not now cost competitive with coal and natural gas.However,plausible reductions by industry in capital cost,operation and maintenance costs, and construction time could reduce the gap. Carbon emission credits, if enacted by government, can give nuclear power a cost advantage.

Safety.
Modern reactor designs can achieve a very low risk of serious accidents, but best practicesin construction and operation are essential.We know little about the safety of the overall fuel cycle,beyond reactor operation.

Waste.
Geological disposal is technically feasible but execution is yet to be demonstrated or certain. A convincing case has not been made that the long-term waste management benefits of advanced, closed fuel cycles involving reprocessing of spent fuel are outweighed by the short-term risks and costs. Improvement in the open,once through fuel cycle may offer waste management benefits as large as those claimed for the more expensive closed fuel cycles.

Proliferation.
The current international safeguards regime is inadequate to meet the security challenges of the expanded nuclear deployment contemplated in the global growth scenario. The reprocessing system now used in Europe, Japan, and Russia that involves separation and recycling of plutonium presents unwarranted proliferation risks.


This MIT study (The Future of Nuclear Power) is considered to be "definitive" by nuclear supporters.

web.mit.edu/nuclearpower/

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-11 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. They can go from 20% to 90% quickly and easily
Edited on Sat Jan-08-11 08:32 PM by bananas
http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/2620/iran-to-e...

<snip>

David Albright explains why Iran could go from 20 percent HEU to a bomb in relatively short order:

Meanwhile, enriching uranium under the guise of medical needs will get Tehran much closer to possessing weapons-grade material. Iran insists it has no interest in nuclear weapons. But Albright said 70 percent of the work toward reaching weapons-grade uranium took place when Iran enriched uranium gas to 3.5 percent. Enriching it further to the 19.75 percent needed for the reactor is an additional 15 to 20 percent of the way there.

Once the uranium is enriched above 20 percent, it is considered highly enriched uranium. The uranium would need to be enriched further, to 60 percent and then to 90 percent, before it could be used for a weapon. The last two steps are not that big a deal, Albright said. They could be accomplished, he said, at a relatively small facility within months.


It must seem odd for casual readers to see 20 percent and 90 percent U235 lumped together as highly enriched uranium or to be be told that Iran will find it much easier to go from 20 to 90, than from 5 to 20. Thats not how everyday math works, where 5 and 20 are closer to ten and 90 rounds to one hundred.

For many readers (especially of this blog) the answer is obvious. But for those to whom it is not obvious, Francesco Calogero found a nice way to illustrate the same point to students at a previous ISODARCO meeting. The essential concept is understand enrichment as a process of removing undesirable isotopes (or more specifically, isolating the desirable ones).

So, imagine 1000 atoms of uranium. Seven of them will be the fissile isotope Uranium 235. The rest are useless Uranium 238. (If you are the sort of person who just said, Hey! What about Uranium 234? or other nitpicks this post is not aimed at you.)

To make typical reactor fuel, Iran or any other country would removes 860 of the non-U235 isotopes, leaving a U235:U238 ratio of 7:140 (~5 percent).

To make fuel for the TRR, Iran removes another 105 non-U235 atoms from the 140, leaving a ratio of 7:35 (20 percent).

To make a bomb, Iran needs only to remove 27 of the remaining 35 atoms, leading a ratio of 7:8 (~90 percent).

<snip>


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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-11 08:41 PM
Response to Original message
2. Quite amazing
considering Iran uses Imperial : not metric.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. +1
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. For shame.
:rofl:

We're not supposed to encourage this sort of behavior. :(
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 03:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. That is the description of the study used by proponents of nuclear power
I was careful to point that out, you'll notice. I'm glad you brought up the point as you did, however since it offers the perfect opportunity to discuss how spin is practiced by the nuclear industry and its supporters.

Through the middle of the last decade, the *very nuclear friendly* MIT study was LAUDED by nuclear proponents as the last word on the state of the nuclear industry. It's conclusions regarding future costs of plants and electricity production were wielded with savage glee by the Acolytes of Uranus as they tried to convince a skeptical public of the need for nuclear instead of renewables.

But karma really is a bitch and, in reality, instead of falling from the then $2500/kw cost to a predicted average of $1500/kw by 2010, the price actually rose to the range of $8000/kw.

Talk about being red-faced! MIT is still trying to get over that.

Now, on the surface that might seem to be reason to agree with you that the MIT study is wrong on the proliferation issue. But if one were to conclude that they would be doing so only because they were unfamiliar with WHY MIT's projections were so wrong.

You see, the problem with their study was that they had uncritically used uncorrected nuclear industry data as a basis for all of the fundamentals in their paper. Other, independent researchers who looked at the nuclear industry data also made predictions but theirs were far more accurate than the MIT study.

Why you ask? Because they they looked outside the nuclear industry to the historical record of performance and compared that with the claims for the future the nuclear industry was making.


http://www.olino.org/us/articles/2009/11/26/the-economi...

The problem with the uncritical nature of MIT's methodology was so bad that it prompted a paper in an ethics journal on the nature of the conflict of interest that surrounds much of the academic work done by nuclear friendly researchers.
www.nd.edu/~kshrader/ksf-cv-dec-1-2009.pdf

So, even this *EXTREMELY NUCLEAR INDUSTRY FRIENDLY STUDY* concluded that cost, safety, waste, and proliferation were problems that HAD to be solved BEFORE we turned to nuclear power as a solution to our problems. BASED ON INDUSTRY CLAIMS OF WHAT IT NEEDED they recommended certain policy avenues that were supposed to help get the industry on its feet as a viable, stand alone economic endeavor.

The governments of both Bush and Obama gave them EVERYTHING THEY ASKED FOR AND MORE.

It isn't enough. They STILL can't make nuclear power work as a cost effective way to boil water in order to make electricity; and you can be damned sure that the language used in the MIT conclusion regarding proliferation is wrong as it too relies upon the same type of nuclear-industry-looking-thru-rose-colored-glasses predictions regarding future technologies and human behavior that underpinned the cost estimates.

The Daily Times, Pakistan Sunday, July 30, 2006
PAKISTAN SAYS NUCLEAR SITE SAFE IN OUR HANDS

KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minister Khurshid Ahmad Kasuri said on Friday that a powerful new nuclear reactor under construction was safe in our hands and would not spark an arms race with rival India.

Its nothing new, the world knows about it, the world knows that its safe in our hands, Kasuri told AFP in an interview late Friday at a meeting of Asias top security forum in Kuala Lumpur. Its five years old, its nearing completion now, I dont know the timing, he added. The United States has urged Islamabad not to use the reactor at the Khushab nuclear complex to bolster its atomic weapons capability.

International observers reacted with alarm after the Washington Post on Monday reported the reactors existence, citing the US-based International Institute for Science and International Security.

The group that said satellite photographs showed the heavy water reactor could produce more than 200 kilogrammes of weapons-grade plutonium a year enough to make 40-50 nuclear weapons every year.

Pakistan remains at the heart of an investigation into a nuclear black-market headed by its disgraced chief nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, who confessed in 2004 to passing atomic secrets to Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Kasuri, speaking at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, did not specify whether or not the new nuclear plant would be used to produce nuclear weapons.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

TTFN
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 05:32 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Um, it went from $2000 to $4000, not $8000. Still cheaper than coal and gas with a carbon fee.
This is why you're against a carbon fee. It instantly makes even crappy Gen III+ nuclear viable.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. MIT sez the New jersey Molten Salt Breeder Reactor is a disgusting fraud
:D
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
9. I'm curious
How was this material produced? Was it produced by a nuclear reactor, or by centrifuges?

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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. Iran doesn't have a running nuclear reactor.
It was either gaseous diffusion of gas centrifuge separation. Both methods of course can be used to create weapons grade material and it is likely that Iran will achieve that goal in the next, say, 10 years, at most. Sanctions don't really work (see: North Korea).
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Nederland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Really?
I was under the impression that the easiest way for a country to obtain material for a nuclear bomb was by having a civilian nuclear power plant. Thanks for educating me. I hope others on this forum read your post and learn a thing or two as well.

...but that probably isn't going to happen, is it?

:)
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Civilian nuclear power is the easiest way for a country to obtain material for a nuclear weapon
Edited on Mon Jan-10-11 03:55 PM by kristopher
And Iran's example is a case study of why.

1) Build a nuclear power plant for "energy security".
2) Claim that your energy security is achieved only by not being subject to the whims of the current open market for uranium enriched for fuel.
3) Build your own enrichment facility to make enriched fuel for your reactor (whether your reactor is online yet or not is irrelevant).
4) Enrich the fuel to weapons grade at your leisure.

So how is it that two of the biggest pickers of renewable knits on this forum are unaware of this basic and often repeated bit of information?

Either you are fundamentally unaware of the nature of the nuclear power sources you consistently advocate for or you are deliberately engaging in an exchange designed to misinform; which is it?

Either way, your remarks here indicate your posts should be taken with an industrial size grain of salt.



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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Build a nuclear plant. Build an enrinchment facility. Wow. Great logic there, fellow.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Iran is a country with huge uranium reserves, they were given some nuclear technology...
...to exploit their own reserves and become self-sufficient. The nuclear technology was disabused, because they threw out inspectors (the ones that make sure you're not diverting plutonium). Sanctions were slapped down pretty hard because they can't be ignoring international nuclear conventions (yes it's kind of a double standard but NPT is a good idea).

Iran was not given enrichment technology, however, the deal was that they ship their yellowcake elsewhere, it gets enriched, and they get fuel rods back. They had to eventually buy enrichment technology from A. Q. Kahn.

So it went like this:

Iran gets nuclear technology. Iran abuses international conventions for using nuclear technology. Iran gets sanctioned. Iran buys enrichment technology.

As we can see, if Iran wanted the bomb they could've avoided the first three bits, and went straight for enrichment technology, and no one would've been the wiser. It's easy to hide enrichment facilities. It's not easy to hide a nuclear power plant. An enrichment facility can be under a grocery store. A nuclear power plant needs cooling equipment and lots of other esoteric technologies that are very hard to hide.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. A civilian nuclear power plant (Gen III) lets you get plutonium, basically it works like this:
Country wants nuclear power.

Country with nuclear powers says, "Hmm, if they want nuclear power they have to build enrichment facilities, and enrichment facilities are the easiest, most cost effective way to make weapon grade material. We'll have to put restrictions on the market for the technologies to make enrichment facilities if we want to encourage these countries not to make technologies which can be made to use a bomb."

Country wants nuclear power says, "That's not fair, we have lots of uranium and we'd like to be able to use it."

Country with nuclear power says, "OK, we'll enrich it for you, send us your yellowcake. But, you should let us inspect your nuclear reactors because you can get the plutonium from them using mere chemical processing and just for our own peace of mind we'd rather you not do that."

Yes, you can make a bomb with the use of conventional nuclear reactors, but if Iran has enrichment facilities, which they appear to be claiming, then they don't need to build nuclear reactors. Plutonium bombs are a tiny bit easier to get to go critical, but if you have the manufacturing tech to make gas centrifuges, making a u235 weapon is trivial.

So no, the nuclear reactor step is actually a costly and ineffective means to make an atomic bomb.

(And assuming you wanted plutonium you'd just breed it using a cheap graphite moderated pile. Crappy way to do it these days, but you want a bomb right?)
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Show one reference from a peer reviewed journal that mirrors your nonsense...
Perhaps you could post something from a peer reviewd journal that supports your claims because what you are saying is simply nonsense and has no basis in fact according to all that I've read from places like Harvard and MIT. *All* experts on nuclear proliferation agree with what I wrote, none subscribe to your childish claims.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. Sure, plutonium can be made with LEU and a pile, probably cheaper than HEU.
You don't need a conventional nuclear reactor to make plutonium, and it would be more costly to get build a conventional nuclear reactor to do it. The only reason you'd skip making HEU is if you don't have a lot of centrifuges. Iran appears to have a lot of centrifuges.

Show one peer reviewed article that says that nuclear power plants are the cheapest way to get atomic bomb making material.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. There have been innumerable papers posted linking civilian nuclear power to proliferation
Edited on Mon Jan-10-11 06:53 PM by kristopher
You deny the truth of those papers and I asked you for a citation (see posts 12 & 15).

Where is it? You post is nothing more than an evasion.

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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. We're talking about costs.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. No we are talking about civilian nukes' link to proliferation
You are the one trying to divert the topic to costs and plutonium.


12. Civilian nuclear power is the easiest way for a country to obtain material for a nuclear weapon

Edited on Mon Jan-10-11 04:55 PM by kristopher
And Iran's example is a case study of why.

1) Build a nuclear power plant for "energy security".
2) Claim that your energy security is achieved only by not being subject to the whims of the current open market for uranium enriched for fuel.
3) Build your own enrichment facility to make enriched fuel for your reactor (whether your reactor is online yet or not is irrelevant).
4) Enrich the fuel to weapons grade at your leisure.

So how is it that two of the biggest pickers of renewable knits on this forum are unaware of this basic and often repeated bit of information?

Either you are fundamentally unaware of the nature of the nuclear power sources you consistently advocate for or you are deliberately engaging in an exchange designed to misinform; which is it?

Either way, your remarks here indicate your posts should be taken with an industrial size grain of salt.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. The original post you responded to alleged that a nuclear reactor was not the best way...
...to get atomic material.

You did not contest any of the facts in the post, but attempted to, yourself, divert the topic to civilian reactor program. Being two faced doesn't suite anti-nuke. bananas even cutely pointed out that enriching the 20% HEU to 90% isn't as hard as it was ot go to 20%. Hilariousness.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-11 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. Note, however, that there is no example of reactor-grade (70%) Pu239 being made into a bomb.
There was an experiment with a higher grade Pu239 (85%) bomb but that is not classical.

Plutonium's ease of criticality is made up by the fact that the shit is very radioactive. 90%+ HEU is far better a material to work with especially if you can make centrifuges.

If Iran isn't blowing smoke we'll actually see in a very short period of time if they plan to use uranium for peace or not, because if they can make 20% HEU they can make weapons grade HEU.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-15-11 12:29 AM
Response to Reply #10
23. Kick.
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