Nucleonics Week (yeah, I’ve never heard of it either) reported that enriching Iran’s lowly-enriched uranium to high levels could damage the centrifuges due to metallic fluoride “impurities.”
That’s the good news–if true, that causes a major delay in the nuclear program.
The bad news: On October 1, Iran agreed in principle to send most of its 1,500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium abroad to be enriched for use as nuclear fuel, and the media and West celebrated.
Such an agreement, it was thought, would defuse the conflict by denying Iran the highly-enriched uranium that, with further enriching, could become fuel for a nuclear bomb.
As Igantius puts it, “You’ve got to hand it to the Iranians, though, for making the best of what might be a bad situation: In the proposal embraced in Geneva, they have gotten the West to agree to decontaminate fuel that would otherwise be useful only for the low-enriched civilian nuclear power they have always claimed is their only goal. ”
So how’d the Iranians run into this problem?
Igantius writes that the equipment at the Isfahan nuclear site didn’t remove molybdenum and other impurities from the uranium, resulting in the contaminated uranium that will damage the centrifuges. The question is where this faulty equipment came from.
Did the Iranians screw up themselves?
Or did they install equipment sent by the CIA and the Israelis to the black market to cause such problems?
Source: World Threats