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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Good news: Iran has second cascade producing 20% enriched uranium

While the Obumbler seeks a consensus on sanctions that are too late and too weak to make a difference, Iran continues to move ahead with its nuclear weapons program. On Friday, a diplomat from an IAEA member nation (note that this report is not another instance of Iranian bragging) told the AP that Iran has set up a second 'cascade' of centrifuges to enrich uranium to 20%.
Uranium at 3.5 percent, can be used to fuel reactors — which is Iran's avowed purpose for enrichment. If enriched to around 95 percent, however, it can be used in building a nuclear bomb, and at 20 percent, uranium can be turned into weapons-grade material much more quickly than from lower levels.

The 20-percent uranium is being produced by a "cascade" — 164 centrifuges hooked up in series. The diplomats said that Iranian technicians had in recent weeks assembled another 164-centrifuge cascade and the throw of a switch appeared ready to activate it to support the machines already turning out small amounts of near 20-percent uranium.

One of the diplomats, from a member country of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the new cascade is meant to reprocess the waste produced by the equipment now in operation and produce more enriched material from it.


At UN headquarters on Thursday, US Ambassador Susan Rice said that talks on a US-drafted sanctions resolution are making "good progress."

Diplomats familiar with the negotiations said a draft resolution could be circulated to all Security Council nations — permanent members the US, Britain, China, France and Russia and 10 elected countries — before the end of the month.
What could go wrong?


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