Sunday, August 27, 2006

Oh great...

Iran takes new nuclear step - Sunday Times - Times Online

From The Times story:

IN A show of defiance against western efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the new phase of a heavy water reactor project yesterday, prompting an Israeli warning that Tehran had taken another step towards producing a bomb.

The Arak plant in central Iran can now make eight tons of heavy water a year, with output expected to rise tenfold.

Heavy water aids nuclear fission and the plutonium by- product could be used to make warheads. But the reactor to produce plutonium is still under construction. ...

Arak’s construction was kept secret until the opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed its existence along with the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in 2002.

An Iranian nuclear official claimed there was no need for the International Atomic Energy Agency to supervise Arak as it did not have a military purpose. But experts warned plutonium production could pose a greater threat than uranium enrichment.

“With uranium it’s much easier to put in safeguards to monitor the atmosphere and instruments,” said Paul Ingram, a nuclear analyst with the British American Security Information Council. Arak could produce enough plutonium for one or two nuclear weapons a year.

For a look at this facility, see here. It appears to be an easy target. I therefore wouldn't be bragging about such advances if I were the Iranian President.

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