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Iran Has Enriched Uranium

Drudge posted the headline 'Iran Joins Nuclear Club' today, on the news that the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization announced that it had enriched uranium.

At first glance it looks like 'wow, Iran has the bomb', but it is nothing close to that. Iran has enriched some uranium to 3.5% U-235, which is usable in nuclear energy production, but nowhere close to the 90% or so enrichment required for weapons.

Iran only has a reputed 164 centrifuges used to enrich uranium in operation right now, but has plans to have 3,000 online by the end of the year. That is when real, large-scale weapons enrichment can begin, and we can really start worrying.

See Flashpoint:Iran for more details on Iran's nuclear program.

Update: Commenter Zsa Zsa asks where the centrifuges come from. According to this report, Iran builds its own centrifuge components, and then assembles them in a facility at Natanz specifically for that purpose (click to enlarge):

natanz.jpg

Posted by Ken McCracken · 11 April 2006 07:14 PM

Comments

Ken, how serious is the projection that Iran will possess 3000 centrifuges by the end of 2006? How will they acquire them, and from whom (Putin?) or are they manufacturing them there?

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 11, 2006 08:29 PM

Those are excellent questions Zsa Zsa, let me look into it.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at April 11, 2006 10:24 PM

That is too bad. That means the world community can not put pressure on a supplier to keep Iran or whats his name from importing the necessary materials??? Thanks Ken!...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at April 12, 2006 07:49 PM