Simon Henderson and Olli Heinonen have published “Nuclear Iran: A Glossary of Terms.” It’s a useful reference in trying to follow events in and around Iran and its nuclear program.

Simon Henderson and Olli Heinonen have published “Nuclear Iran: A Glossary of Terms.” It’s a useful reference in trying to follow events in and around Iran and its nuclear program.

Henderson is the director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Heinonen is a senior fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and was deputy director-general and head of the Department of Safeguards at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, inspecting facilities in Iran.

The report (pdf) is published jointly by the Washington Institute and the Belfer Center.

The Introduction provides a short history of the Iranian nuclear program. You can find explanations of relevant nuclear science terms and the terms the IAEA uses to describe its activities and findings. There is a section on Pakistan’s nuclear program, because Pakistan has helped Iran with its program. Bomb-related terms from the US’s Manhattan Project are also included. The index is hyperlinked, so that clicking on a term takes you to the explanation. Each page has links back to the index at the top and bottom.

The glossary itself is divided into five parts:

  1. IAEA Reports on Iran. Names of the Iranian sites and organizations with short explanations of their functions are included.
  2. Centrifuge Enrichment.
  3. Initial U.S. Development of Nuclear Weapons.
  4. Basic Nuclear Physics and Weapon Design.
  5. Pakistan’s Development of Nuclear Weapons.

This division allows perusal of the sections in addition to simply looking up terms.The illustrations are clear and useful. The definitions are accurate. A couple of quibbles: Jumbo was a very primitive version of the explosive chambers of today, and I’ve never seen the acronym MOLIS used for molecular laser isotope separation. But those are very small.

It’s a very useful report. I would download a copy to keep on my computer if the rather peculiar pdf arrangement allowed that, but it doesn’t.

 

Cheryl

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