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Monday, 24 June 2019

Don't fall for the ruse - The truth about Iran's nuclear program

James Corbett
Corbett Report

"Be afraid!" say the repeaters of mockingbird media. Afraid of who? Afraid of Iran, of course.

Oh, haven't you heard? The Iranian government's stockpile of enriched uranium is about to surpass 300 kilograms! And Iran's store of heavy water is about to surpass 130 metric tons! Don't you understand? This will exceed the limits on these materials set out in the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)! And the dastardly Iranian government is not only embarrassed by these actions, but openly taking steps to end (some of) their commitments under the JCPOA!
Sounds chilling, doesn't it? But there's one little disclaimer that seems missing from a lot of the MSM's scaremongering coverage of these developments: None of this has anything to do with an offensive nuclear weapons program.

Confused? Of course you are. The highly-technical details of the 159-page nuclear agreement were never meant to be scrutinized by (much less understood by) the average Joe Sixpack and Jane Soccermom. Words like "enriched" and "highly enriched," "heavy water" and "tritium," "nuclear program" and "nuclear weapons program" are thrown around by the media as if these terms are all the same, even though they describe fundamentally different materials and processes. And the whole point is to make the public afraid of a nuclear weapons program that both US and Israeli intelligence has confirmed doesn't exist.

So what's the real story on the Iran nuclear deal?

Well, as I had cause to point out on The Corbett Report podcast quite recently, defining our terms is the first step toward understanding the world. So let's do some defining.

First, "enrichment." As the World Nuclear Association explains:

Natural uranium contains 0.7% of the U-235 isotope. The remaining 99.3% is mostly the U-238 isotope which does not contribute directly to the fission process (though it does so indirectly by the formation of fissile isotopes of plutonium). Isotope separation is a physical process to concentrate ('enrich') one isotope relative to others. Most reactors are light water reactors (of two types-PWR and BWR) and require uranium to be enriched from 0.7% to 3-5% U-235 in their fuel. This is normal low-enriched uranium (LEU). There is some interest in taking enrichment levels to about 7%, and even close to 20% for certain special power reactor fuels, as high-assay LEU (HALEU).
Note that there is a large difference between low-enriched uranium (less than 20% U-235) used for fuel in nuclear power plants and research reactors, and high-enriched uranium (over 90% U-235) used for nuclear weapons. One guess which kind Iran is producing. That's right: low-enriched uranium! To be precise, 3.67% U-235 enriched uranium, also known as " not even close to being used in a nuclear weapon" enriched uranium. 

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