Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bits and Pieces - Iran Edition

I've been wondering if the clandestine plant was intended to be a finishing plant for the output at Natanz. Natanz would enrich uranium to reactor grade (3-4% U-235) and Qom would take that to 90+% for weapons. Its 50,000 centrifuges would provide capacity for reactor fuel and a bit more. Most of the capacity is needed to get from natural uranium to reactor grade, so 3000 centrifuges would be enough for a finishing plant.

There would be a problem with accountability of the uranium hexafluoride input and output. More input would be needed, and the IAEA would be monitoring the output, so if some went to a finishing plant, they would know. Unless they were kicked out.

FAS picks up on this idea and provides a lot of other technical background.


Some good analysis of the satellite imagery of that site that everyone seems to be zeroing in on. And a bit more.

Roger Cohen agrees with me that the negotiations need to be enlarged. So do Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, I think. They're all over the field and seem to be annoyed. They weren't asked for their advice?

Steve Hynd channels Bernhard in a takedown of the New York Times's take on German intelligence claims. From what I recall, Bernhard's pretty much got it right.

Scott Ritter argues the legality of the plant. I haven't had time to work through this argument in detail. James Acton offers the opposing viewpoint. I'll stick with saying that it would have been smart strategy, particularly if Iran's program is strictly for civilian nuclear power, to get ahead of the curve and provide much more access to IAEA inspectors. If legalistic arguments are all you've got, you've got a problem. And it's hexafluoride, Scott and Guardian!

A computer-constructed view of Israel's Dimona plant, from photos and descriptions by Mordechai Vanunu. Not all of it seems likely to be accurate to me. Via.


eileen fleming said...

In 2005, Vanunu told me:

"Did you know that President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons?

"In 1963, he forced Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’

"Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection.

"The French were responsible for the actual building of the Dimona.

"The Germans gave the money; they were feeling guilty for the Holocaust, and tried to pay their way out. Everything inside was written in French, when I was there, almost twenty years ago.

"Back then, the Dimona descended seven floors underground. In 1955, Perez and Guirion met with the French to agree they would get a nuclear reactor if they fought against Egypt to control the Sinai and Suez Canal. That was the war of 1956. Eisenhower demanded that Israel leave the Sinai, but the reactor plant deal continued on.

"When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.

"Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year."

In 1963, Peres was Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense and he lied to President Kennedy during a White House meeting.

Kennedy told Peres, “You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?”

Peres repLIED, “I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first.”

Learn about Vanunu's FREEDOM OF SPEECH Trial in the 'democracy' of Israel and see and hear him speak for himself in 2005, 2006, 2008 video @ VANUNU ARCHIVES:


Eileen Fleming, Author,
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
A Feature Correspondent for The Palestine Telegraph and Arabisto.com

Producer "30 Minutes with Vanunu" and "13 Minutes with Vanunu"

Cheryl Rofer said...

Thanks, Eileen.

We need more transparency about all of the nuclear programs in the Middle East.