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Iran Begin Operation Of Second Nuclear Network

From those lovers of nuclear proliferation at Reuters:

The Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, June 2006. Iran has confirmed that it has installed new equipment to step up uranium enrichment work despite the threat of UN sanctions over its nuclear programme, the official ISNA news agency reported.

Iran to begin 2nd atom fuel network in days: agency

By Ali Ronaghi

TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran will start feeding uranium gas into a second network of centrifuges in days, an Iranian news agency said on Wednesday, expanding a program which Western powers fear is intended to make atomic bombs.

The interconnected centrifuges can enrich uranium for making fuel for power plants or for nuclear bombs. Iran says it wants only to make electricity but has failed to convince world powers who are holding out the threat of United Nations sanctions.

European Union powers started circulating a draft resolution for the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to ban transfers of nuclear and missile-related technology and materials.

Diplomats told Reuters on Monday that Tehran had begun "dry-testing" a second network, known as cascades, of 164 centrifuges to go with a maiden cascade that yielded Iran's first batch of enriched uranium suitable for power plant fuel.

The Iranian student news agency ISNA quoted an informed source as confirming the second cascade had been installed at the Natanz pilot enrichment plant two weeks ago.

It said the next important stage of work, injections of uranium UF-6 gas, would be done this week.

"Soon after injection of the gas, we will obtain the product of the second … cascade," ISNA quoted the source as saying.

The first cascade of 164 centrifuges — cylindrical machines that create nuclear fuel by whirling at supersonic speeds — produced a tiny amount of low-enriched uranium in April.

Iran would need thousands of centrifuges spinning non stop for months to enrich uranium to the high level that would detonate a bomb. Experts say that could be 3-10 years away.

But Western powers fear Iranian advances could accelerate once Tehran has mastered a pilot program and worry that Iran may have clandestine operations unknown to U.N. inspectors…

Clearly the EU's ever-extended deadline is working.

For Iran.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, October 25th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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