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Thread: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

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    tom
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    Default Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    csmonitor.com: Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran will make its own higher enriched nuclear fuel, effectively rejecting a UN-backed exchange proposal that would have eased Western fears about Iran's nuclear program. "I declare that by the grace of God, the...

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    I don't think God wants Iran or any one else to make enriched nuclear bomb material, but God is not likely to prevent it, and Iran may succeed on their own at great cost. Unfortunately we are providing Iran almost unlimited money due to our oil purchases. We need to develop alternatives faster than seems prudent. Neil

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    Senior Member mugaliens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    A lot of declarations by various religious leaders are out of synch, if not directly controverting their religious texts.

    On the other hand, their enrichment systems are only good enough for power-production, not weapons grade. I think much of the saber rattling about this is political, namely that the US and allies don't want to given them an inche in the area of uranium enrichment.

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    Senior Member Coelacanth's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    Quote Originally Posted by neil View Post
    I don't think God wants Iran or any one else to make enriched nuclear bomb material, but God is not likely to prevent it, and Iran may succeed on their own at great cost. Unfortunately we are providing Iran almost unlimited money due to our oil purchases. We need to develop alternatives faster than seems prudent. Neil
    As of a couple of years ago, Iran was earning $51 billion per year from oil exports, which is something on the order of 5-7% of the economy, and which is less than they spend on domestic energy subsidies - so altogether, the Iranian goverment is losing money on energy. If oil exports dropped to zero (which doesn't seem very likely), they'd still have over 90% of the economy to draw on to fund nuclear projects if they liked. But exports could go up a lot with some projects that are due to open in the next few years.

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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    I personally think that Iran is an unstable country. That would be like giving a gun to a child. Even if their enrichment system is only good enough for power-production, I wouldn't put it pass them to want to eventually create a bomb.

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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    Even though Iran has reactors that can produce plutonium the plutonium still has to be seperated from its reactor grade uranium. That takes a lot of high tech seperator filters they don't have or a lot of electricity to run cyclotron seperators. Our first bombs used half the electrical production of the US at the time. The entire electrical product of the TVA project and the cyclotron seperators were housed in the largest building of its time IIRC it covered about half a mile square area. Not the kind of equipment that has to be guessed about by inteligence services or that can be put on a couple of trucks and smuggled over the border as is claimed happened to Iraq's nuclear weapon program. Of course Iraq didn't have it, NAZI germany didn't have it even the USSR didn't have it after ww11, though they were working on it, until they got significant intel from spies in the US program. They also had a huge industrial base, many scientists, engineers, electricians etc. A couple of rogue weapon scientists won't do it.
    Last edited by astrotech; 04-01-2012 at 06:21 AM.
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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    Its a good thing to be discussed i must say,Basically its all about what they can do and what they wanna do so growing in a certain way and getting to know the factor of understanding how appropriately its all is necessary to be working so i must say its working which is appreciable in a way.
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    Senior Member mugaliens's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    There's a serious difference between nuclear fuel and nuclear warhead. There are dozens of types of nuclear fuel, but let's look at the one with which most people are familiar: Uranium.

    Uranium has four grades of enrichment, including slightly, reprocessed, low-enriched, and highly-enriched:

    SEU - 0.9% to 2% 235U- can be used to replace natural uranium (NU) in some heavy water reactors

    RepU - recovered from light water reactors, it can be used as would SEU, but is contaminated with radionuclides which make disposal problematic.

    LEU - less than 20% 235U, usually 3% to 5% - useful for commercial light water reactors. Prevalent.

    HEU - more than 20% 235U - could be used in fissile nuclear bomb. As enrichment percentage decreases, the critical mass require increases dramatically. At 5.4%, for example, you would require an infinite mass. At 20%, you cold require more than a thousand pounds. Thus, weapons-grade is typically > 85%.

    All Iran needs to produce its own nuclear fuel is raw yellowcake, a mixture of uranium precipitates obtained from leaching uranium ores, a process to extract the pure uranium dioxide, and a process to enrich it (increase the ratio of 235U to 238U.

    The problem is, the same means of enriching uranium to a low-grade state for fuel can also be used to enrich it to a high-grade state for weapons. Thus, the ability to refine yellowcake into nuclear fuel almost always means the ability to produce weapons-grade uranium.

    Given Iran's never-ending tirade against Christians and Jews, allowing them to become a nuclear power is a ridiculously stupid idea, bordering on the Darwin Awards.
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    Senior Member astromark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    It's only a mater of time.. to the awful moment when a Nuc or dirty bomb is launched at or on a western target..
    That is a entirely unpleasant view, but I feel true. I do not see us being able to stop the eventually inevitable fact that a weapon of this type is in their control ability..arsenal. Might they just buy one or build it.. Do you think we can stop that ?
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    Default Re: Can Iran produce its own nuclear fuel?

    The interesting point I come to is that; Do we really have the right to stop what Iran,
    or any foreign nation might or might not do ? ~ That we want for a stable defense mechanism I agree.
    Can we count on the mutual destruction of our environments as reason enough to never strike a blow.. No.
    Nuclear weapons have been used twice and we can still argue of that being excessive force.. But the threat IS enough for a educated person to know.. It's a bad idea. Ban the things but the lid is off the box. How can we or do we even have that right.. To stop the proliferation, as it can be argued as a defense weapon. Deterrent. ( De tont.) ...
    Always listening, watching, learning. Wanting to comment not judge.

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