Docstoc

Assessment of Iran's Nuclear Program

Document Sample
Assessment of Iran's Nuclear Program Powered By Docstoc
					Assessment of Iran’s Nuclear Program

              Press Event
      Tuesday, September 14, 2004

        Dr. Charles D. Ferguson
     Science and Technology Fellow
             Capsule History
• Iranian nuclear program dates back at least to
  1957 – Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi signed
  a nuclear cooperation agreement with the U.S.
  The Shah wanted self-sufficiency 
  complete nuclear fuel cycle
• 1979 Islamic revolution to early 1980s: nuclear
  hiatus
• Mid-1980s to present: revitalized nuclear
  program (e.g., 1985: start of centrifuge program)
          Dual-Use Dilemma
• Two routes to making a nuclear bomb or
  civilian nuclear fuel:
   enriching uranium
   making and separating/reprocessing
     plutonium

• Iran has acquired technology to do both 
  striving for mastery of both front and back
  ends of nuclear fuel cycle
  Latest IAEA Report: Outstanding Issues
Front End of Fuel Cycle:
• Centrifuge Enrichment Program
    P-2 advanced centrifuges: Absence of activity
     between 1995 and 2002?
    Enriched uranium contamination
• Uranium Conversion
    37 tons yellowcake to UF6 this month  potentially
     enough for half dozen crude bombs
• Laser Enrichment

Back End of Fuel Cycle:
• Plutonium Separation Experiments and Heavy Water
  Plant and Reactor
  Latest IAEA Report: Outstanding Issues
               (continued)
Polonium-210:
   Nuclear weapon initiator or nuclear battery power
    source?
   Lab experiments between 1989 and 1993
   Other research?
Lavisan-Shian:
   Site in Tehran where there was alleged nuclear
    activities
   Razed to the ground after November 2003
   “possibility of a concealment effort by Iran”
   Environmental samples and documents being
    analyzed by IAEA
How Soon Before Iran Can Make a Nuclear Bomb?
• July 29, 2004 EU-Iran meeting:
   Could produce enough weapons-grade HEU
    within one year of decision to do so
   Could make nuclear device within 3 years

• CIA Past Estimates:
   1992: Bomb by 2000
   1995: Bomb by 1998-2000
   2000: Bomb cannot be ruled out
   Feb. 2004: DCI Tenet, “significant challenge for
    intelligence to confidently assess whether that
    red line had been crossed”

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:26
posted:2/24/2010
language:English
pages:7