Skip to comments.VP Biden's Illiteracy on Nuclear Iran
Posted on 10/12/2012 7:00:10 AM PDT by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide
VP Joe Biden was dangerously ignorant in the 2012 Vice-Presidential debate on Iran's nuclear weaponization or he was disengenuously throwing in a red herring that would sound plausible enough to deceive the public.
Without getting into the science of fast and slow neutrons or atomic cross-sections, the problem with Biden's argument that Iran is far from a nuclear weapon fails on two important points.
1) While it is overall technically difficult to build any kind of atomic bomb from scratch, Biden is wrong that even if Iran produces bomb-grade Uranium (80%+ pure U235) that it would still take some time to make a bomb capable of using it. VP Biden repeatedly made this claim early in the debate.
The fact is there are two tracks to making an atomic bomb which were both pursued simultaneously by America's successful WWII "Manhattan Project", one involving enriching Uranium-235 (U235) to bomb grade with centrifuges, and the other by producing Plutonium-239 (Pu239) in a nuclear reactor using moderately enriched U235. The first difference in these two tracks is that the production of U235 from Uranium ore is very difficult while Pu239 is a waste by-product in any commercial nuclear reactor and easly refined from it. The second difference however is that U235 is easy with which to make a bomb, while making a bomb from Pu239 requires either precise calculation or some trial and error.
The Fat Man Pu239 design was tested on July 16, 1945 before using it on Japan due to the uncertainty that it would work properly. The Uranium bomb was such a no-brainer that its first test was on Hiroshima.
2) In any event, even if Iranian physicists had known nothing about building atomic weapons prior to 1998, Biden ignores the fact that it is known that the specifications of Pakistan's Islamic Atomic Bomb were handed to the Iranians by Pakistan's chief atomic bomb developer A.Q. Khan after Pakistan's successful atomic bomb development. There is no doubt that Iran's weapon that Biden wants us to think is far from development has in fact been sitting ready, waiting only for a nuclear core of either Uranium-235 or Plutonium-239 to be fully functional. Of course, if Iran has been handed the plans for a nuclear weapon, there would be "no evidence" that Iran is developing such a device since it would already have made one long ago while working on the process of acquiring the nuclear material to put in it.
On the basis alone of the lie or misapprehension that there will be any time interval at all between Iran's acquisition of fissile nuclear material, either Uranium or Plutonium, and the deployment of a functional atomic weapon, Joe Biden should be disqualified from the office of President or Vice-President of the United States.
You nailed it. I have always believed that Iran has had some sort of device in the 5 to 15-kt range.
VP Biden’s Lieliteracy on Nuclear Iran is more like it.
The man is an a-hole. I will never understand the myth of his being some kind of foreign policy expert and why the myth is perpetuated by the republicans.
I knew something was fishy when he was talking about that. Thank you for that information.
Biden has been consistenly on the wrong side of history for much of his political career.
Biden completely ignores that Russian advisors are directing the Iranians at every step, and actively supplying materials for each phase of development.
Why would Iran go to all the trouble to produce bomb-grade uranium and fail to prepare the means for making it explode. Ryan should have asked Biden that question.
Clinton gave the Iranians the plans for the nuclear trigger with his Operation Merlin, a so called CIA “sting” operation.
For me, that was the scary aspect of the debate, dealing with the Iran nuke program. On one hand, Joe downplays the intelligence failure in Libya. Minutes later, he tries to assure us that the intelligence community will know immediately when Iran tries to assemble a bomb. That’s quite a contradiction. You can’t have it both ways, Joe.
The whole damn bunch needs to be prosecuted for treason- including Bill & Nillary.
I couldn’t agree with you more, you are 100% right.
If something isn’t done to stop these people they will start a full blown civil war in this country.
“Biden has been consistenly on the wrong side of history for much of his political career.”
Yup. Some expert!