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A Hitch in Iran's Nuclear Plans?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/15/AR2009101502761.html?nav=rss_opinion/columns ^ | Oct. 16, 2009 | David Ignatius

Posted on 10/16/2009 12:57:16 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY

Since you're probably not a regular reader of the trade publication Nucleonics Week, let me summarize an article that appeared in its Oct. 8 issue. It reported that Iran's supply of low-enriched uranium -- the potential feedstock for nuclear bombs -- appears to have certain "impurities" that "could cause centrifuges to fail" if the Iranians try to boost it to weapons grade.

Now that's interesting. The seeming breakthrough in negotiations on Oct. 1 in Geneva -- where Iran agreed to send most of its estimated 1,500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium abroad for further enrichment -- may not have been exactly what it appeared. Iran may have had no alternative but to seek foreign help in enrichment because its own centrifuges wouldn't work.

"The impurities, certain metallic fluoride compounds, would interfere with centrifuge enrichment" at Iran's facility at Natanz, reported the newsletter's Bonn correspondent, Mark Hibbs.

This news strikes me as a potential bombshell. If the Nucleonics Week report is accurate (and there's some uncertainty among experts about how serious the contamination problem is), the Iranian nuclear program is in much worse shape than most analysts had realized. The contaminated fuel it has produced so far would be all but useless for nuclear weapons. To make enough fuel for a bomb, Iran might have to start over -- this time avoiding the impurities.

You've got to hand it to the Iranians, though, for making the best of what might be a bad situation: In the proposal embraced in Geneva, they have gotten the West to agree to decontaminate fuel that would otherwise be useful only for the low-enriched civilian nuclear power they have always claimed is their only goal.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: geopolitics; iran; nuclearproliferation; proliferation; sourcetitlenoturl

1 posted on 10/16/2009 12:57:17 PM PDT by Free ThinkerNY
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To: Free ThinkerNY

I’d rather see bunker busters taking them out than counting on some impurities.....


2 posted on 10/16/2009 1:06:10 PM PDT by b4its2late (Ignorance allows liberalism to prosper.)
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To: Free ThinkerNY; NormsRevenge; Grampa Dave; SierraWasp; Marine_Uncle; blam; SunkenCiv; SJackson; ...

Well maybe we can add some impurities....just to help them out....for a fee of course.


3 posted on 10/16/2009 1:07:35 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (Support Geert Wilders)
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To: Free ThinkerNY

either Iran has patriot saboteurs working in their labs, or George W was not bull———ng the Israelis when he said we had a covert op underway


4 posted on 10/16/2009 1:26:27 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Fluorine, a rabidly reactive chemical, is used in refining uranium by centrifuge, and if metallic stuff that is going to foul up later stages of attempting to get weapons purity uranium got in, it might have come off of the centrifuges themselves. Who supplied those durn things to them anyhow?


5 posted on 10/16/2009 1:38:18 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Being absolutely out of the know and WaPo publishing this, I have no choice but to see this as nothing other than convenient thinking in support of Obama’s charm offnsive at all costs. Once again we are to believe that Iran is not a threat and anyone that disagrees is unilateral in a repressive W way.


6 posted on 10/16/2009 1:43:39 PM PDT by torchthemummy (No Obama: Not Because He's Black But Because He's Red)
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To: torchthemummy

It would be nice if this monkey wrench in Iran’s plans were true, but at best it is a luck factor. Bummer’s alleged charm had nothing to do with it.


7 posted on 10/16/2009 1:46:44 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (ACORN: Absolute Criminal Organization of Reprobate Nuisances)
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To: Free ThinkerNY
The Tooth Fairy... is more reliable than WasPo!
8 posted on 10/16/2009 2:30:31 PM PDT by Bender2 ("I've got a twisted sense of humor, and everything amuses me." RAH Beyond this Horizon)
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To: Free ThinkerNY
"The impurities, certain metallic fluoride compounds, would interfere with centrifuge enrichment" at Iran's facility at Natanz, reported the newsletter's Bonn correspondent, Mark Hibbs.

This news strikes me as a potential bombshell.

Really? It strikes me as a strategic deception designed to buy the Iranians enough time to complete the test phase. I have about as much proof as you do Mr. Ignatius.

9 posted on 10/16/2009 2:54:42 PM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: HiTech RedNeck

I think a German company had a hand in it. Could be wrong but seem to recall something about that from several years ago.


10 posted on 10/16/2009 3:02:41 PM PDT by PIF
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
I clearly remember reading back about two years ago where some of their UF6 (uranium hexafluride gas) was found to contain sufficient contaminates to render any high level enrichment to occur, most unlikely. I think it was on the order of some six hundred tons worth of this gas stored in quite a few large holding tanks.
Plus as we should remember, a few years back they where still working with partial completed P1 centrifuges. Not the most efficient units by any means. Almost junk grade compared to what is available.
Bottom line is why do they need enrichment above say ten percent to begin with. One does required U235 fuel cells containing over ten or so percent for most reactor designs across the board in general.
11 posted on 10/16/2009 4:25:40 PM PDT by Marine_Uncle (Honor must be earned....)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; AdmSmith; Berosus; bigheadfred; Convert from ECUSA; dervish; Fred Nerks; ...

:’) I think a 5000 degree “hitch” would be more appropriate.


12 posted on 10/16/2009 4:35:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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