[extropy-chat] nuclear non-proliferation as energy strategy ?

Brian Lee brian_a_lee at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 17 16:00:20 UTC 2006

The last plan I saw was that the EU/US wanted to provide the enriched 
uranium to fuel Iran's future reactors. Iran was against that and so we're 
at where we are today. So I guess there's no solution that gives Iran the 
capability to make nuclear fuel without the capability to make weapons grade 


>From: Robert Bradbury <robert.bradbury at gmail.com>
>Reply-To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
>To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
>Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] nuclear non-proliferation as energy strategy ?
>Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 10:19:19 -0500
>On 1/17/06, Brian Lee <brian_a_lee at hotmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > It is possible to have nuke plants without weapons refining capability. 
> > don't think it's the nuclear power that US/EU is freakng out about. It's
> > Iran having the ability to create weapans grade plutonium along with
> > nuclear
> > power.
>Actually, I don't think plutonium is the main concern.  For that  you not
>only need a nuclear reactor but a fuel reprocessing plant  (such as the
>PUREX plant which used to operate at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in
>Washington).  I believe the last information I read indicated that the
>Iranian's didn't have an operational nuclear reactor and the Russians were
>running behind on helping them finish it.  (Not that it made much sense to
>do so without any fuel unless one were puchasing it from a nuclear capable
>nation, most probably Russia or China).
>Though plutonium can be used to make relatively small nuclear weapons, it 
>difficult to work with.  It requires more highly enriched uranium (HEU) to
>make a weapon but to produce that all you have to do is take the normal
>enrichment process for reactor grade fuel (that is what the centrifuges are
>for) and just run the cycle somewhat longer to get a higher enrichment 
>(at least that is my understanding).  It would presumably require a very
>intrusive monitoring process to guarantee that the Iranian's were not
>siphoning off enriched uranium and turning it into HEU for weapons given
>their history of hidden/underground nuclear facilities.

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