The IAEA has adopted a resolution deploring Iran regarding its possible clandestine Nuclear Weapons Program. Satellite photos obtained by Global Security have aroused suspicion about the country’s previous statement that their facilities are used solely for power management. The report claims that Iran has expanded, or covered up their Nuclear Weapons development program.
The report displayed several satellite photos, for example: A photo showing an empty site in Arak, Iran, in 2001, now shows a possible Dual Use capability site, in the Plutonium Department. Another photo shows a Uranium enrichment facility in Natanz in 2002, while in a photo taken in 2004, the facility has disappeared.
In the Natanz report on the Global Security site, the company displays a good number of satellite photos and their corresponding assessments. Specifically, one shows the construction of an underground tunnel and facility, which was completed on 2/29/04, successfully concealing three buildings, which were clearly visible on 9/20/02. The site also shows the appearance of a Heavy Water Production Plant constructed in Arak, Iran.
Heavy water is chemically identical to regular water, except for the two hydrogen atoms, which are replaced by two deuterium atoms. Heavy water is used in the operation of nuclear power reactors; used as both a moderator and a heat transfer agent. The function of the moderator is to slow down the emitted neutrons, which increases the fission reaction rate, thus enabling a sustained chain reaction. Ordinary water is also a good moderator, but it absorbs neutrons, which is why light water reactors must use enriched fuel. The use of heavy water makes it possible to use non-enriched natural uranium.
IAEA states that they are concerned with a third, unmentioned facility in Iran.
1) News Report Basis- http://www.foxnews.com
2) Heavy Water Description- http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/sno/D2O.html
3) Arak Special Weapons Facility- http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/arak-imagery2.htm
4) Natanz Special Weapons Facility- http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/natanz-imagery2.htm
5) Secondary and Background Information Link 1- http://cns.miis.edu/research/iran/treaties.htm#report
6) Secondary and Background Information Link 2- http://www.nti.org/d_newswire/issues/2002/12/13/5s.html
7) Natanz Closeup Photograph- http://cns.miis.edu/research/iran/images/fac03c.jpg
8) Arak Closeup Photograph- http://cns.miis.edu/research/iran/images/fac01c.jpg
NEWS sources utilized: Fox news, Global Security