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Sunday, January 09, 2011

Iran increases 20% enriched uranium stockpile

Iran has announced that it has increased its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium to 40 kilos (88 pounds).
Salehi, who is also Iran's acting foreign minister, said Teheran now has 40 kilograms of uranium enriched to 20 percent, up from 30 kilograms reported in October.

Uranium enriched to 20 percent is enough to produce fuel for a medical research reactor but far below the more than 90 percent required to build fissile material for nuclear warheads.
That last sentence is a bit misleading, because, as I have pointed out in the past...
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.
So if you want to break out and make a run for it, it's much easier to do with 20% enriched uranium than it would be with 3.5% enriched uranium.

What could go wrong?

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