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Iran converting much enriched uranium to non weapons usable form

Uranium conversion may help ease bomb fears, Japan Times, 1 June 13 VIENNA – An important recent development in Iran’s nuclear program, if it continues, might help to ease international fears that Tehran wants the bomb, but serious questions still remain, analysts and diplomats said.

This potentially positive step, as highlighted in recent quarterly reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency, concerns uranium enriched by Iran to a fissile purity of 20 percent.

This material is of major international concern because if further purified to 90 percent — a process well within Iran’s technical capabilities — it would be suitable for a bomb.

According to the IAEA’s most recent report, Iran has produced 324 kg of uranium enriched to 20 percent, well above the about 240 kg thought to be needed for one nuclear device — which is reportedly also Israel’s “red line”.

But more than 40 percent of this has been converted into another form, triuranium octoxide, which experts say is tricky to convert back to the original uranium hexafluoride.

Iran says that it is converting this uranium in order to provide fuel for a reactor in Tehran, and four others that outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last February ordered constructed, for nuclear medicines.

Tehran also calls it a “confidence-building” measure in so-far fruitless talks with six world powers on hold until after the presidential election on June 14……


June 1, 2013 - Posted by | Iran, Uranium, weapons and war

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