Presentation on theme: "Oh, I almost forgot, it packs a 150 to 170 kiloton nuclear punch It’s about the size of an office trash can Let’s start with a modern nuclear."— Presentation transcript:
Oh, I almost forgot, it packs a 150 to 170 kiloton nuclear punch It’s about the size of an office trash can Let’s start with a modern nuclear weapon Here’s one – this is a US W80-1 thermonuclear warhead It’s about 800mm long by 300mm diameter and weighs 130kg
Here’s a button, let’s see if it works!
Let’s click through that sequence!
So, basically, the trick is to compress a fissile material down to its critical mass very quickly There is another way to achieve a critical mass but it requires a different fissile material
950mm 100mm 110kg
This baby is the US W79 with dial-a-yield of 2 to 10 kilotons – wanna see it go nuke ? and it converts with a tritium boost to an enhanced radiation or neutron bomb
So, Iran’s nuclear weapon development relates to its procurement of these IAEA SAFEGUARDED materials
Only LEU This is what Iran claims to have capacity for Zirconium for its Bushehr fuel fabrication plans Depleted uranium from reactor fuel enrichment No plutonium BUT the IAEA found several milligrams of plutonium nitrate from extraction activities during 1988 and 1992 No polonium BUT the IAEA found traces of polonium in 1993 Tritium Nothing much to speak of Only Low Enriched Uranium for the Bushehr and Tehran reactor fuel development BUT the IAEA found several particles of HEU in cascades in 2003 – this led to the current IAEA-IRAN crisis. So let’s examine those areas where the IAEA and Iran are in dispute
If so, that’s a lot of trouble and expense from mining to fuel in the reactor Iran claims its enrichment programme is solely for the civil nuclear reactor at Bushehr
From the cooling capacity you can backtrack to the size of the enrichment cascades which, here, is about 30,000 centrifuge units
So, if the IAEA cannot access the Natanz plant it looks at the radioactive waste for traces of HEU This is what caused the IAEA-Iran spat in 2003 when the IAEA found >36% HEU particles at Kalaye The IAEA’s concern is that HEU can be diverted at Natanz
say by kg/y small scale Now we can fill in IRAN’s DU and HEU capacity
Now let’s look at Iran’s progress with materials for the compression weapon
For this route, fissile plutonium has to be extracted from natural uranium U-238 irradiated in a reactor So the IAEA require the Bushehr fuel to be supplied by and RETURNED to Russia RUSSIAN FEDERATION Iran could do this by reprocessing the uranium fuel from Bushehr
So, to overcome this, Iran builds a new, high capacity research reactor, thereby bypassing Bushehr To separate the plutonium from the fuel a small reprocessing plant A plant to provide the Heavy Water for the reactor The ARAK Heavy Water plant was started this year, it produces ~10 to 15 tonnes HW per year and the RD-40 reactor requires an initial tonnes – so 4 to 5 years before it is commissioned
say by kg/y kg/y small scale Now we can fill in IRAN’s plutonium capacity
say by kg/y kg/y small scale The RD-40 reactor will also provide a Polonium- 210 generator
say by kg/y now TRCR by kg/y small scale And the heavy water moderator is a rich source of tritium
Let’s compare the Iran, North Korea and Israel nuclear programmes Iran’s programme is dual-role and complex Bushehr and Tehran reactors are safeguarded under IAEA
Economy Model No Frills One Track Military
Iran has experimented with and is now building the technology – so when will it break out?
MUCH OF THIS MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY IN PLACE AT ESFAHAN TROUBLE AT NATANZ WITH MULTIPLE CASCADES TAKE TEHRAN REACTOR OUT OF SAFEGUARDS OR WAIT FOR RD-40 AT ARAK COULD BE PROCURED AND POLISHED AT ESFAHAN WAIT FOR ARAK RD-40 REACTOR TO COMMISSION
Well, what’s it to be ? Is IRAN on a dash for nuclear weapons Or is it a confused civil nuclear power programme? Remember what the US and Brits concluded about Iraq’s WMD ! Whatever, one outcome is there is now to be UN Security Council sanctions against Iran
It may be that the risk is not be directly with Iran’s nuclear weapons programme but, because of UN sanctions, a breakdown of nuclear safety at Bushehr !