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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Iran increases uranium output

While the world dithers on Iran, Iran continues to pursue its goal of obtaining nuclear weapons. To that end, Iran has increased uranium mining, as shown by satellite photos.
Evidence of stepped-up activity at the Gchine mine, near the Persian Gulf coast city of Bandar Abbas, is seen in pictures obtained by Bloomberg News and the Washington-based New America Foundation, according to four nuclear analysts who examined the images. The mine could produce enough uranium to craft at least two atomic bombs a year, experts said.

The photographs, taken on April 26 and Oct. 3 by DigitalGlobe Inc. and GeoEye Inc., two U.S. commercial satellite companies, show Iran increased the rate at which it pumps waste from the mine during the intervening months. Iran has filled one waste pool since November 2008, when a previous photograph was taken, and built a second pond with pipes connecting it to processing tanks that separate the metal from rock.

“Iran’s decision to expand mining and milling at Bandar Abbas seems to validate the suspicions of those who think it was the main uranium site for a covert program,” Jeffrey G. Lewis, nuclear strategy and non-proliferation director at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute, said in an Oct. 20 interview.

The increased uranium production indicates that United Nations inspectors need to widen their field of vision beyond facilities such as Iran’s uranium-enrichment plant in Natanz and its Esfahan conversion facility, Lewis and other analysts said. The UN’s nuclear agency should renew demands to inspect research labs, machine shops and mines including Gchine, they added.
What could go wrong?


At 1:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This is not the act of a country interested in peaceful nuclear energy. This is the act of a country interested in obtaining a nuclear bomb. And the world has no apparent interest in averting it.

What could go wrong indeed


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