The Arak reactor was seen to be a problem as soon as its existence was announced in 2002 by an Iranian opposition group. Heavy water reactors produce more plutonium of a type that is better for weapons than other reactors do. The photo is of the Arak reactor ( “Arak Heavy Water4″ by Nanking2012 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons). The dome is the containment vessel. Continue readingby
Last week, another article appeared about someone’s wonderful idea to remove the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and make it into gasoline. If I remember correctly, the scheme would also supply electrical power. That got me thinking I should write a post, but the announce of the agreement with Iran intervened.
On Saturday, another tweet hit me: a rather prominent intellectual had just learned about giant gas planets. It was a tweet of discovery, hey this is cool and I didn’t know it before, which was much better than the ignorance of that earlier article. It reminded me of the post I wanted to write, and since I was on Twitter at the time, I decided to query the hive mind.
If you’re new to Nuclear Diner, welcome! And welcome if you’ve been here before, too! Here are our recent Iran posts:
The photo is of the Narva River, the border between Russia and Estonia, from the Estonian side, a few kilometers outside the town of Narva. I took it about this time of year in 2011. Continue readingby
Politico has an article about the US buying rocket engines from a sanctioned Russian government-owned company. Seems like a poor idea to outsource something this important to an adversary. Politico doesn’t really get at how this happened, though. In conversations with a number of people, I’ve found that they, like the Politico reporters, just accept that of course the government outsources as many functions as it can find buyers for. That’s not really a good idea, as we see in this case. Continue readingby
Former IAEA Deputy Director Olli Heinonen says that 24 days is enough for Iran to clean up any sites that the IAEA may suspect of harboring activities to develop nuclear weapons. He is concerned about “smaller covert facilities that are used toward the end of the nuclear weapons process” rather than large sites like the Natanz enrichment facility. Continue readingby
The verification regime that is described in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Agreement (JCPOA) is stronger than any that have been applied to countries that have not been defeated in war. It applies to all facets of the Iranian nuclear program. One of the possible paths to a bomb would be through Iran’s uranium enrichment program. The verification regime covers uranium processing from the mine through centrifuge manufacture and use. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will monitor the verification provisions (Preamble, x). Continue readingby