Happy Iranian Nuclear Day! And everything you have ever wanted to know about centrifuges.

Yes, today, 9 April, is the official Iranian holiday to celebrate all the progress that the Iranians have made toward nuclear self-sufficiency. The Iranian nuclear program is getting lots of news, especially their effort to enrich uranium using centrifuges and today’s inauguration of their new fuel fabrication facility. The fundamental problem with centrifuges is that they can be used to produce uranium for a nuclear reactor but the very same machines can also be used to produce uranium for a nuclear bomb. The Iranians protest that they have every right to nuclear power while the rest of the world worries that the entire nuclear power enterprise is a thin cover for a bomb program.



If you have ever wondered how centrifuges work, how they are built, or their link between bombs and power plants, the Federation of American Scientists has answered your question. My colleague, Ivanka Barzashka, and I have just published an entirely new section of the FAS website explaining centrifuge technology and the associated proliferation concerns. It even includes a nice animated video that demonstrates how centrifuges work. I believe that this is the single best resource on centrifuge technology on the web.

Soon, Ms Barzashaka, will post additional sections that look specifically at the Iranian centrifuge program, analyzing what the capabilities of their machines are and how fast they can enrich uranium.

2 thoughts on “Happy Iranian Nuclear Day! And everything you have ever wanted to know about centrifuges.

  1. Yes, a very excellent description.

    Might mention Holbach arrays of magnets and the ability
    to put magnetic material in carbon-fiber tubes.

    Urenco advertises this ability in connection with flywheel
    tech.

    Might also mention that magnetic bearings have adjustable
    stiffness.

  2. In 2007, Iran consumed around 400000 bbl/d of gasoline, roughly the same amount as 2006. Iran has limited refinery capacity for the production of light fuels, and consequently imports much of its gasoline supply.

    Iran holds the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves and the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves. Tehran is the six most polluted city in the world.

    What is the big deal with a country acquiring nuclear technology?

    Israel, the Middle-East’s most aggressive country, involved in the clear violation of numerous human rights of the Palestinians has Nuclear Weapons. You don’t pressure them to disarm, but yet you give sanctions and threaten to attack Iran for seeking nuclear technology.

    IAEA inspectors are there, they have total access to all 7000 of the centrifuges.

    Things are more complicated then they seem on the surface, open your eyes. So far Obama has done nothing but give a nice little friendly speech to the Iranians on the 20th of march, but his actions show the total opposite.

    Only solution here is dialogue without preconditions. War will not solve this problem, it will only inflame it. Israel has been constantly giving direct and indirect threats of attacking Iranian nuclear sites. America should keep Israel on a shorter leash, or maybe it’s the other way around?

    Joe Biden did say that Israel would never dare attack, but how can you really be sure…

    If talks are held, they should mostly be aimed at Iran’s civil rights abuses. Best option is to wait until the elections, with a less hard-line president, negotiations will be smoother.

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