Kamis, 30 Agustus 2012

.....Big radiation risk unlikely in Iran strike...???...Most experts contacted said that Israel would not target the Bushehr nuclear reactor on Iran's Gulf coast, which started providing electricity to the grid last September. Such an attack could release a Fukushima-style radioactive plume that could spread to the entire region - including Israel. ..??..."Uranium is a very heavy metal, chemically and physically," so it would not be transported far on the wind if Iranian enrichment facilities were attacked, said Malcolm Grimston, of Imperial College, London. "It is about as poisonous as lead ... the issue would be in the immediate area trying to prevent people from ingesting it for its chemical poisonous properties," he said. Uranium before it is introduced into a nuclear power plant is also much less radioactive than fissile reactor material. "It is not like a reactor where you got the volatile fission products - the iodines and caesiums - which can be carried in principle all around the world by wind," Grimston said...>>>..."Iran's plutonium program is thought to be less advanced than its uranium program," said Karl Dewey, a nuclear analyst at IHS Jane's in England. Any attack on Bushehr, perhaps to cripple nearby buildings without rupturing the reactor, would involve big risks, he said. Israel would probably want to destroy the Arak heavy water research reactor, which is not yet online but which experts say is more suited to producing plutonium than Bushehr...>>...After no Israeli strike took place, Indyk said that the US officials felt as though they had been duped by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's ruse. The former ambassador added that there is a sense within the US government that Washington is once again being misled by Israeli declarations and leaks...??>>


Experts: Big radiation risk unlikely in Iran strike

By REUTERS
08/28/2012 15:27
http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=282883 

Fallout may be similar to impact of attacks in Gulf Wars, experts say, expecting that Bushehr reactor would be off-limits.

IAF F-15s refueling midflight [file] 
Photo: Baz Ratner / Reuters
OSLO/VIENNA - Any Israeli attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities are unlikely to cause a Fukushima-scale disaster unless a Russian-built reactor is destroyed, experts say.

They could, however, release toxic chemicals - rather than high levels of radiation - causing local contamination affecting health and the environment. That was also the case from US-led strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq during the Gulf Wars.

"I doubt that the radiation effects would be great," said Hans Blix, a former head of UN nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iran says all its facilities are for peaceful purposes. Israel, which in 1981 bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor before it came online, has led international accusations that Tehran is secretly developing atomic bombs.
"There could be some chemical hazard (from an Israeli attack on Iran's uranium refining plants) but I'd think it would be limited to any nearby communities," said Edwin Lyman, a nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington.

The Vienna-based IAEA and Iran failed on Friday to strike a deal aimed at allaying concerns about Tehran's nuclear program. Diplomatic sources say Iran has installed many more uranium enrichment centrifuges at Fordow, a fortified underground site and a likely target in any attack.

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

Bellicose rhetoric from some Israeli politicians has fanned speculation that Israel might hit Iran's nuclear sites before the November US presidential vote. Washington has said there is still time for diplomatic pressure to work, but it might be drawn into any war between the two Middle East foes.

Most experts contacted said that Israel would not target the Bushehr nuclear reactor on Iran's Gulf coast, which started providing electricity to the grid last September. Such an attack could release a Fukushima-style radioactive plume that could spread to the entire region - including Israel.

"An attack against Bushehr nuclear power plant would probably be a violation of international law," Blix said.
Attacks on Iran's other nuclear sites - such as the Natanz and Fordow enrichment plants and a uranium conversion facility east of the city of Isfahan - may have a localized health and environmental impact on a similar scale caused by the bombing of Iraqi nuclear sites Tuwaitha and Al Qaim in the Gulf Wars.

Nuclear meltdown?

"Uranium is a very heavy metal, chemically and physically," so it would not be transported far on the wind if Iranian enrichment facilities were attacked, said Malcolm Grimston, of Imperial College, London.

"It is about as poisonous as lead ... the issue would be in the immediate area trying to prevent people from ingesting it for its chemical poisonous properties," he said.
Uranium before it is introduced into a nuclear power plant is also much less radioactive than fissile reactor material.

"It is not like a reactor where you got the volatile fission products - the iodines and caesiums - which can be carried in principle all around the world by wind," Grimston said.

Iraqi plants have not become global bywords for disaster, unlike the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion in what is now Ukraine and the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan that suffered a meltdown after an earthquake and tsunami last year.

"The health effects (in Iraq) were very localized," said Robert Kelley, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and a former director of IAEA inspections in Iraq.

Others say health risks linger in Iraq, and estimates of long-term health risks near the sites are difficult because of a lack of monitoring of cancer rates.

"In Tuwaitha, they have never seen full decontamination," said Mike Townsley of environmental group Greenpeace. He and colleagues found a ruptured container of raw uranium "yellowcake" near the plant in 2003.

About 1,000 people live near the Tuwaitha reactor complex south of Baghdad, the former site of Saddam Hussein's nuclear research program destroyed by US-led forces in 1991 and 2003. Al Qaim, where uranium was extracted at a fertilizer factory, was bombed in 1991.

Paul Sullivan, a professor of economics and adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University in the United States, said there were double standards in judging risks.

"If there were a chance of an attack on such facilities in France, Germany, the US Japan and the like there would be constant and very loud cries about the potential environmental and human health impacts," he said.
Iran says it needs to refine uranium as a fuel for nuclear power. But extra refinement can make uranium for a bomb.

Radiation poisoning

The other main way to build a bomb is to use plutonium, from the waste of spent nuclear fuel rods from power plants. But experts say Bushehr is ill-designed for such uses, and that would also require a separate reprocessing plant.

"Iran's plutonium program is thought to be less advanced than its uranium program," said Karl Dewey, a nuclear analyst at IHS Jane's in England.

Any attack on Bushehr, perhaps to cripple nearby buildings without rupturing the reactor, would involve big risks, he said.

Israel would probably want to destroy the Arak heavy water research reactor, which is not yet online but which experts say is more suited to producing plutonium than Bushehr.

The United Nations said in 2005 that the main impact of the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl would be up to 4,000 thyroid cancer deaths. About 30 people died at the plant, mainly from radiation exposure. Some environmentalists project far more deaths.

A Stanford University study in July estimated that radiation from Fukushima Daiichi might eventually cause anywhere from 15 to 1,300 deaths.

Radiation poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and fatigue in lower doses. In bigger doses, it can cause burns, hemorrhages, cancer and death.

Radiation can also damage plants and animals, poisoning food for human consumption. A type of butterfly near Fukushima has been found with high rates of mutation, such as deformed wings and eyes.

Part of the risks of enrichment is that the process involves heating uranium to a gas form, Dewey said.

The process frees uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which is both toxic and radioactive and can cause kidney damage. When UF6 comes in contact with moisture it converts to uranyl fluoride and toxic hydrofluoric acid, in a gas form.

Among accidents, in 1986 the rupture of a cylinder at a uranium enrichment facility run by Sequoyah Fuels Corp. in the United States released a cloud of UF6, killing one worker and injuring 31 others. None of the 31 suffered lasting kidney damage.

'Iran expands nuclear capacity underground'

By YAAKOV LAPPIN, REUTERS
08/23/2012 21:26
http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=282388 

Diplomatic sources in Vienna say Iran added more uranium enrichment machines at underground bunker in Fordow.

Interior of Bushehr nuclear plant 
Photo: REUTERS/Stringer Iran

Iran has installed many more uranium enrichment machines in an underground bunker, diplomatic sources said on Thursday, potentially paving the way for a significant expansion of work the West fears is ultimately aimed at making nuclear bombs.

Several sources said Iran had put in place additional enrichment centrifuges in its Fordow facility, buried deep inside a mountain to protect it against any enemy strikes.
One source suggested it involved hundreds of machines.
“Our basic understanding is that they were continuing to install,” a Vienna-based diplomat said, adding the new centrifuges were not yet operating.

If confirmed in a report expected next week from the UN atomic watchdog, the development is likely to be seen as a sign of Iran’s continued defiance of international demands to curb its nuclear program, which Tehran says is entirely peaceful.

At Fordow, near the holy Shi’ite city of Qom, Iran is enriching uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent, activity which the West wants it to stop immediately as it brings it closer to the level required for nuclear weapons.

In a possible sign of further Iranian defiance in the face of such pressure, several sources said Iran had put in place additional enrichment centrifuges in the Fordow facility, buried deep inside a mountain to protect it against enemy strikes.

One source suggested hundreds of machines had been installed.

The most recently retired IDF chief of staff, Lt.-Col (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, has added his voice to the chorus of former defense officials saying that there was no need for a military strike on Iran’s nuclear program at this time.

One Western envoy said that the suspected clean-up at Parchin was “intensifying” and that this made it doubtful that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would uncover any hard evidence there, even if they were allowed to go.

“Given the extent of the cleanup, it is indeed unlikely the agency, if it ever gets access, would find anything at Parchin,” the diplomat said.

There was no immediate comment from Iran's mission to the Vienna-based UN atomic agency. It has previously dismissed the allegations about Parchin, which it says is a conventional military facility, as “ridiculous.”

Click here for full Jpost coverage of the Iranian threat

In video footage taken by a Makor Rishon journalist and aired on Channel 2 on Thursday evening, Ashkenazi said that “we’re still not there,” adding that a metaphorical nuclear suitcase was not about to be sent in Israel’s direction from Iran.

Instead of a strike, Ashkenazi said, a “combination of strategies” should be employed at this time, listing a covert war and economic sanctions coupled with diplomacy as some of the required steps.

“These should be supported by a third strategy, and that is keeping a military option that is realistic and credible,” Ashkenazi added. “That is what I think has to be done.

The former army chief said he hoped a combination of all the measures would be enough to get Iran to suspend its nuclear program.

Turning his attention to the civil war raging in Syria, Ashkenazi said the toppling of the Assad regime would “at the end of the day improve our strategic situation... even if Assad is replaced by a Sunni regime or government.”

Ashkenazi said that he did not believe Egypt would turn into a violent Islamist regime hellbent on using force against Israel anytime soon.
“I don’t think they can commit a serious act even if they get [the capabilities],” he said.

Indyk: US expected Israel to strike Iran last spring

By JPOST.COM STAFF
08/23/2012 10:49
http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=282286 

Former US ambassador says that officials in Washington feel they are being duped by Netanyahu and Barak.

Martin Indyk 
Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
 
Former US Ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said that the United States "was convinced that Israel would attack" Iran's nuclear program during the spring months earlier this year, speaking in an interview with Army Radio on Thursday.

After no Israeli strike took place, Indyk said that the US officials felt as though they had been duped by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak's ruse.

The former ambassador added that there is a sense within the US government that Washington is once again being misled by Israeli declarations and leaks.

Indyk's comments come amid public discussions of the gaps between Washington and Jerusalem's perspective on the Iranian nuclear program.

Earlier this week, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey highlighted the differences between the two allies: "You can take two countries, give them the same intelligence and reach two different conclusions. I think that's what’s happening here," he said on Sunday.

Explaining why the Israelis saw Iran as a more pressing issue Dempsey added, "at the same time, we admit that our clocks ticking at different paces. We have to understand the Israelis; they live with a constant suspicion with which we do not have to deal.”

A week earlier, former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit told Channel Two that he did not trust American assurances that Washington would stop Iran from going nuclear. Shavit said that Israel could only trust itself when it came to its own fate.

On the same day as the Shavit interview, the Yediot Aharonot daily carried a front-cover story saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak were seeking to launch a strike against Iran this coming fall. The report claimed that the prime minister and the defense minister were encountering stiff resistance to the idea of ordering the strike now from military and intelligence chiefs.

Herb Keinon and Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.


Iran denies plans to show nuclear sites to diplomats

By REUTERS
08/28/2012 13:06
http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=282876 

Iranian deputy FM had hinted that access would be granted to Parchin, a move Western diplomats called a "bad publicity stunt."

Satellite photos show Iran 'sanitizing' Parchin 
Photo: REUTERS
DUBAI - Iran said on Tuesday it has no plans to show its nuclear sites to diplomats visiting Tehran for this week's Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, contradicting an earlier offer by a deputy foreign minister.
"We have no specific plans for a visit to Iran's nuclear installations by foreign guests participating in the summit of NAM member countries," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, state news agency IRNA reported.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh hinted on Monday that Iran might let visiting NAM diplomats tour the Parchin military base, which the UN nuclear watchdog says may have been used for nuclear-related explosives experiments.

Western diplomats had dismissed the tentative offer, made shortly after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) again failed to gain access to Parchin for its inspectors at a meeting with an Iranian delegation in Vienna on Friday.

"Any tour the Iranians conduct for visiting NAM officials would be nothing more than a very, very bad publicity stunt," a senior Western diplomat in Vienna told Reuters. "It is the IAEA that should have been given access to Parchin."

Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's representative to the IAEA, reiterated his country's determination to keep enriching uranium. "We will not suspend enrichment for even one second," the Iranian Students' News Agency quoted him as saying.

Enriched uranium can be used to fuel power stations, or, if processed further, for nuclear weapons.

Akhoundzadeh also said on Monday that UN chief Ban Ki-moon, due in Tehran for the NAM summit, might be able to visit Iran's atom sites. Ban's spokesman denied any such plan.

Iran is hosting the NAM summit, which ends on Friday, at a time when the West is trying to isolate the Islamic Republic over suspicions it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability. Tehran says its atomic program has only peaceful aims.

The IAEA suspects that Iran has conducted explosives tests in a steel chamber at Parchin relevant for the development of nuclear weapons, possibly a decade ago, and that it may have tried to cleanse the site in recent months.

Big radiation risk unlikely if Israel strikes Iran: experts

OSLO/VIENNA | Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:18pm IST
(Reuters) - Any Israeli attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities are unlikely to cause a Fukushima-scale disaster unless a Russian-built reactor is destroyed, experts say.
They could, however, release toxic chemicals - rather than high levels of radiation - causing local contamination affecting health and the environment. That was also the case from U.S.-led strikes on nuclear facilities in Iraq during the Gulf Wars.
"I doubt that the radiation effects would be great," said Hans Blix, a former head of U.N. nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Iran says all its facilities are for peaceful purposes. Israel, which in 1981 bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor before it came online, has led international accusations that Tehran is secretly developing atomic bombs.
"There could be some chemical hazard (from an Israeli attack on Iran's uranium refining plants) but I'd think it would be limited to any nearby communities," said Edwin Lyman, a nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington.
The Vienna-based IAEA and Iran failed on Friday to strike a deal aimed at allaying concerns about Tehran's nuclear program. Diplomatic sources say Iran has installed many more uranium enrichment centrifuges at Fordow, a fortified underground site and a likely target in any attack.
Bellicose rhetoric from some Israeli politicians has fanned speculation that Israel might hit Iran's nuclear sites before the November U.S. presidential vote. Washington has said there is still time for diplomatic pressure to work, but it might be drawn into any war between the two Middle East foes.
Most experts contacted said that Israel would probably not target the Bushehr nuclear reactor on Iran's Gulf coast, which started providing electricity to the grid last September. Such an attack could release a Fukushima-style radioactive plume that could spread to the entire region - including Israel.
"An attack against Bushehr nuclear power plant would probably be a violation of international law," Blix said.
Attacks on Iran's other nuclear sites - such as the Natanz and Fordow enrichment plants and a uranium conversion facility east of the city of Isfahan - may have a localized health and environmental impact on a similar scale caused by the bombing of Iraqi nuclear sites Tuwaitha and Al Qaim in the Gulf Wars.

MELTDOWN
"Uranium is a very heavy metal, chemically and physically," so it would not be transported far on the wind if Iranian enrichment facilities were attacked, said Malcolm Grimston, of Imperial College, London.
"It is about as poisonous as lead ... the issue would be in the immediate area trying to prevent people from ingesting it for its chemical poisonous properties," he said.
Uranium before it is introduced into a nuclear power plant is also much less radioactive than fissile reactor material.
"It is not like a reactor where you got the volatile fission products - the iodines and caesiums - which can be carried in principle all around the world by wind," Grimston said.
Iraqi plants have not become global bywords for disaster, unlike the 1986 Chernobyl reactor explosion in what is now Ukraine and the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan that suffered a meltdown after an earthquake and tsunami last year.
"The health effects (in Iraq) were very localized," said Robert Kelley, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and a former director of IAEA inspections in Iraq.
Others say health risks linger in Iraq, and estimates of long-term health risks near the sites are difficult because of a lack of monitoring of cancer rates.
"In Tuwaitha, they have never seen full decontamination," said Mike Townsley of environmental group Greenpeace. He and colleagues found a ruptured container of raw uranium "yellowcake" near the plant in 2003.
About 1,000 people live near the Tuwaitha reactor complex south of Baghdad, the former site of Saddam Hussein's nuclear research program destroyed by U.S.-led forces in 1991 and 2003. Al Qaim, where uranium was extracted at a fertilizer factory, was bombed in 1991.
Paul Sullivan, a professor of economics and adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University in the United States, said there were double standards in judging risks.
"If there were a chance of an attack on such facilities in France, Germany, the U.S., Japan and the like there would be constant and very loud cries about the potential environmental and human health impacts," he said.
Iran says it needs to refine uranium as a fuel for nuclear power. But extra refinement can make uranium for a bomb.

POISONING
The other main way to build a bomb is to use plutonium, from the waste of spent nuclear fuel rods from power plants. But experts say Bushehr is ill-designed for such uses, and that would also require a separate reprocessing plant.

"Iran's plutonium program is thought to be less advanced than its uranium program," said Karl Dewey, a nuclear analyst at IHS Jane's in England.
Any attack on Bushehr, perhaps to cripple nearby buildings without rupturing the reactor, would involve big risks, he said.

The extent of the fallout from any strike on the reactor would depend on what capacity level it had operated on and for how long, experts say. An IAEA report in May said it operated at 75 percent of its power after being shut down in January.

Israel would probably want to destroy the Arak heavy water research reactor, which is not yet online but which experts say is more suited to producing plutonium than Bushehr.

The United Nations said in 2005 that the main impact of the 1986 disaster at Chernobyl would be up to 4,000 thyroid cancer deaths. About 30 people died at the plant, mainly from radiation exposure. Some environmentalists project far more deaths.

A Stanford University study in July estimated that radiation from Fukushima Daiichi might eventually cause anywhere from 15 to 1,300 deaths.

Radiation poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and fatigue in lower doses. In bigger doses, it can cause burns, hemorrhages, cancer and death.

Radiation can also damage plants and animals, poisoning food for human consumption. A type of butterfly near Fukushima has been found with high rates of mutation, such as deformed wings and eyes.
Part of the risks of enrichment is that the process involves heating uranium to a gas form, Dewey said.
The process frees uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which is both toxic and radioactive and can cause kidney damage. When UF6 comes in contact with moisture it converts to uranyl fluoride and toxic hydrofluoric acid, in a gas form.
Among accidents, in 1986 the rupture of a cylinder at a uranium enrichment facility run by Sequoyah Fuels Corp. in the United States released a cloud of UF6, killing one worker and injuring 31 others. None of the 31 suffered lasting kidney damage.
(Additional reporting by Marcus George in Dubai; Editing by Pravin Char)


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