Iran and Quantity of Nuclear Weapons ... Bluffing?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by GoneA, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. GoneA

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    This is a rather long post, so you should read it if you're bored or just have free-time ... or if you just like reading long post and such.

    This is a piece I came upon in the New York Times about the Middle East. Not that it's anything terribly new, but I find this rather interesting. I'm interested in knowing the opinions of different members ... do you think Tehran is bluffing? 54,000 centrifuges? Do you think the U.N should place "travel and financial restrictions on Iran's leaders"?

     
  2. dong20

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    It's a complex situation demanding skills and expertise way beyond me. However given the past record of both parties I think a healthy degree of sceptism about the true intent of both parties is called for in any observer.

    It seems to me that Iran wants to leverage the current climate of uncertainty at least as much as it may actually want to create weapons grade material, and thus far it seems to be at least as effective in making the current US administration pretty antsy.

    If all else fails Iran can always play the oil card so it's a potential win win scenario for them. This is just speculation of course...though based on the efficacy of US/UK intelligence gathering as evidenced so far.... I would counter it's about as reliable.

    If the Iranians do want to 'go nuclear' then short of carpet bombing large swathes of the Middle East with 10 Kilo-tonners I seriously doubt there is much GWB can do to stop them. Perhaps if he opened a meaningful dialog and treated Iran like (heaven forbid) a sovereign nation instead of accusing it of holding '10% of global oil reserves to ransom'..but of course..as before it was never about the oil was it??

    To respond to your question...if the US/UN/UK seriously think placing such restrictions on Iranian leaders will achieve much beyond (possibly) curtailing a few shopping trips to 5th Avenue and Oxford Street then let them go ahead. To me it would seem as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    Maybe it's going to be a battle of centrifuges...surely the ultimate tool for spin. :biggrin1:
     
  3. Lex

    Lex
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    Now is the perfect time for any country we have ever told NOT to do something to go and DO it.

    Our military is steched thinner than ever, our standing in the views of many has fallen, and we can't back up one fucking thing we say unless we plan on dropping another atomic bomb on someone.

    Thanks, GWB and Company.
     
  4. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    Meh, I've handled industrial centrifuges so big they have to be mounted on the ground floor or they'll vibrate the entire building.

    Don't give Bushie my number, I DON'T WANNA DIE!!

    I mean, science is not equal to terror! (Unless you're as stupid as...well do I need to say more?)

    After all, I doubt the US will invade a nuclear power any time soon. Otherwise why are the "Allegiance of the enemies of the western societies of the American Coalition of the alliance of states against Terrorism" Such as China, North Korea, India, Pakistan and Russia not waving the white flag?
     
  5. Dr Rock

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    :yawn: more scare tactics by government hacks in washington. gotta keep folks asceered of the ay-rabs, or they might just start thinking about something relevant or important.
     
  6. geitjeshoeder

    geitjeshoeder Active Member

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    Well Iran has uranium.

    They have made powerplant-usable enrichted uranium. This type of Uranium consists of 4 pct U235 and 96% U238 Uranium isotopes. This is achieved in a ultracentrifuge cycle of 6 to 12 months. (Normally U238 has about 0,7 pct U235)

    The normal enrichment process starts with centrifuging the uranium with gasses and a high electrical charge. The heavier U238 binds to the gasses and becomes more stable and is centrifuged out of the clusters containing the richer U235. The fission and sub-particle arrangments leeds to a lot of U236 and U237 half decay products. These mold in to either U235 or U238. In many cases the decay time per particle defines the approx. precentage of U238/U235. The decay time of U235 is about 10.000 times as short of that of U236. So to put it simple at 4 to 5 % enrichment you will need 2 to 4 years of centrifuging to have about one golf-ball amount of 90% plus U235 enriched uranium. This is comparable with the little man bomb droped on Japan in 1945.

    Thus...
    After 2 years of relentless ultracentrifuging you will have enough weapons grade uranium for just one bomb. A industrial process like this is sure to take up 40 to 50 acres. One single bomb could put them out of business at the touch of a button. Also building a stable delivery system is also all but simple.

    I will not go to deep in, i don't want anyone to build a bomb or something :D

    Iran uses a ultracentrifuge technique developed by the Netherlands and Germany from the late 1970s, which was solely developed to enrich uranium for use in the PWR (Pressured Water Reactor i.e. Harrisburg, Tjernobyl :D ) type low-profile nuclear reactors, as where build back then and the later Pressured Gas Reactors. Iran has technology to build PWR-type reactors, and at short term, this would sound more feasible. However PWRs also put out very small amounts of highly enriched Plutonium as a waste residu. Not enough to build a bomb, but enought to f-up some ones day with a foul-bomb. (ie. being strapped to a conventional explosive). Since Israel and the US have very good radar surveillance they could strike back any missile or aircraft based weapon within a matter of seconds, Iran could just try a fould bomb instead.

    I don't see any harm at the moment in Iran have a Nuclear program. I do see harm in their agressive talk against other nations such as Israel. Since Israel already has a nuclear weapons program, i don't think one will ever attack the other. Just like India and Pakistan... or Nato and Warsaw-pact :D
     
  7. dong20

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    Dr Rock (Hi..:biggrin1: ) no offense but if you are going to generalise then get your facts correct, Iran is not an Arabic country. It's predominatly Persian (>50% and call a Persian an Arab and see what reaction you get), with Azeri, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Kurd and other groups, those of Arab descent are 3% or less. I have no argument with the rest of what you said though!
     
  8. Dr Rock

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    oh, you know that and i know that, but little georgie w and his pals don't seem to.
     
  9. dong20

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    What's more.... if they did they wouldn't care ..did you read the 9/11 conspiracy thread? Interesting and I'm not quite sure what to make of it :eek:
     
  10. SurferGirlCA

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    Given how wrong the "intelligence community" got it on Iraq and seeing how the current Administration then took that already-flawed intelligence and cherry-picked what it wanted to justify going to war, on top of the fact that the Iranian president seems to be as big a nutjob as Saddam Hussein, how are we supposed to know WHAT to believe? :rolleyes:
     
  11. rob_just_rob

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    I have heard it said that the U.S. military and government (and to be fair, those of some other NATO nations as well) spent much of the cold war hyping up the Warsaw Pact's 50,000 tanks in order to justify increased defense spending. After the cold war ended, it turned out that a lot of those tanks were quite old and obsolete, and this was commonly known in the highest echelons of the military.

    This sounds like the same sort of thing. Hysterical hyping-up of Iran's nuclear capabilities in order to justify some immediate action.
     
  12. SpeedoGuy

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    Its hard to believe the Bush administration would ever seek to exaggerate the military threat a middle eastern nation poses. I mean, its national security were talking about here. Its not like they'd be so craven as to stoop to manufacturing a crisis to divert attention from failures elsewhere.
     
  13. Dr Rock

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    mm-hmm. yes and no. that was certainly true by the mid-80s, but not for the entire duration of the cold war by any means . NATO was always a little ahead of the warsaw pact nations in technological standardization anyways. in 1989, something over half of the warsaw pact's active units were using T-72s or equivalent derivatives. the T-72 wasn't on a par with any of the principle NATO state's main battle tanks at the time, as desert storm would shortly demonstrate, but it was still a pretty fearsome beast - certainly destructive enough to cause concern for a lot of the less militarily-advanced european and asian nations.

    the remainder of their numbers, including pretty much all their reserves, was made up mostly by T-54s and T-55s - light snacks for challengers or abrams, but capable enough second-line tanks in their own right. even today, upgrade kits make T-55 generation tanks very cost-effective, and they're still being sold off to various second- and third-world armies who can't afford anything like the gold-standard kit we're used to in the US and western europe.
     
  14. jay_too

    jay_too New Member

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    On the way home this afternoon, I heard some guys on the radio talking about the Iran problem. Apparently, the Iranian facility has approximately 0.1 of the number of centrifuges [around 160] that it would take to produce enough weapons grade U-235 annually for a bomb. They were using the best data from IAEA. If correct, this would probably mean that if the centrifuge facility were devoted fulltime to creating weapons grade U-235, it would take 12 to 15 years since there are efficiencies in continuous cascades of centrifuges.

    A cascade of 1500 - 2000 centrifuges would be a major technical effort in both design and construction; otherwise, it would shake the building down [as OcraBpmber alluded]. Moreover, such a facility would require a major dedicated electrical generation plant. I remember reading a couple of years ago about the need for electrical generation capacity across the Iran.

    Thus, I do not believe that Iran is close to producing a weapon.
     
  15. rob_just_rob

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    Can't argue with you there - I did recall that many of the Warsaw Pact nations were equipped with T-54's and -55's, but I didn't know that they started to show their age only by the 80s - coincidentally when Reagan sent defence spending into the stratosphere. :rolleyes:

    Still, there was the so-called "missile gap" in the 60s... can I hang my hat on that? :cool:
     
  16. geitjeshoeder

    geitjeshoeder Active Member

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    Those figures showed the need for 4000 to 5000 centrifuges are based upon the oldertype G4 German centrifuge. The newer ultracentrifuge M4 type (Urenco) could with 200 machines up and running make enough within 2 to 4 years to build the smallest type of conventional nuclear bomb. (or a single ICBM warhead)

    The centrifuges do not shake the building at all. They have been damped (well if there build okay that is :D ), they don't look like your average washing machine or so

    this is a ultracentrifuge cut open from the Urenco plant in Almelo (Netherlands).
    The mantel is the area which is magnetic and tails off the stable U238

    [​IMG]

    Remember that these machines are craftwork, designed to work 15 years without any service. Also their build to resist earthqaukes, explosions and other damage.
     
  17. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Get over it... so when the loon sez Israel is and will be wiped off the map, and the holocaust was a lie... I'm guessing Hallibruton is paying the ultra-liberal Associated Press to state that. Spare me.
     
  18. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Lotsa blather to say yellowcake takes awhile to bake.
     
  19. rob_just_rob

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    I always wonder why people say that major news services are liberal biased? Maybe if you're David Duke, they are...
     
  20. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    Um, what the guy is quoting is translated from the AP... AP=NPR=AirAmerica=CBS=every standard AM radio station=Katie Couric=howard Dean

    Just like the myriad of Clintonesque quotes on Iraq, one of which includes "And I might say UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production."
     
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