Nuke Watchdog: Iran Worked on Nuclear Triggers

Disclosure buried in 9-page International Atomic Energy Agency report
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2011 7:59 AM CDT
In this Tuesday, April 8, 2008 file photo released by the Iranian President's Office, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, visits the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility.   (AP Photo/Iranian President's Office, File)

(Newser) – In the kind of revelation that doesn't help one sleep at night, the International Atomic Energy Agency yesterday disclosed that it has evidence that Iran has worked on nuclear triggering technology that has but a single use: setting off a nuke. The New York Times reports that the detail was buried in a nine-page report on Iran's nuclear program; there was not much elaboration on it other than to say the work dated back to late 2003 and involved uranium deuteride.

The report noted that it had asked Iran about evidence of "experiments involving the explosive compression of uranium deuteride to produce a short burst of neutrons." A former director of the Los Alamos weapons lab confirmed that the compression of uranium deuteride suggested work on an atomic trigger. “I don’t know of any peaceful uses,” he said. The IAEA didn't say where it got the evidence. The report also notes that Iran's main production site is now churning out low-enriched uranium at a rate that's a bit higher than its production rate pre-Stuxnet, indicating it is finally recovering from the Stuxnet worm.

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