Entries in Uranium (4)


Iran Reportedly Enriching Uranium Inside Mountain Facility

iStockphoto/ThinkstockUPDATE: A spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that Iran has "started the production of uranium enriched up to 20% in U-235 using IR-1 centrifuges in the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. All nuclear material in the facility remains under the Agency’s containment and surveillance.”

(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iran claims to have gone ahead with a plan to enrich uranium inside a mountain location -- a key step to developing a nuclear arsenal.

The strategy announced Sunday by Iran's state news service would provide greater defense from attacks by its enemies.

If it’s true Iran moved its refinement work from the enrichment plant at Natanz to a mountain in Fordow, it would further heighten tensions between Tehran and the West, which disputes the contention that Iran's nuclear ambitions are being conducted for peaceful purposes.

The U.S. and other nations have toughened political and economic sanctions against Iran since a United Nations nuclear watchdog report speculated that Tehran is further along in making a nuclear weapon as previously believed.

In response to the sanctions, Iran has threatened to cut off oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, which the White House says will be met with a swift response by the U.S. Navy.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US and World Powers Meeting with Iran to Talk Nukes

Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili at the conclusion of prior nuke talks Dec. 7. Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- On Friday the U.S. will join the other members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany for a second day of meetings with Iran to discuss its nuclear program. Similar talks took place last month. Undersecretary of State Bill Burns is again leading the U.S. delegation.
U.S. officials are setting expectations very low for this meeting, which is being held in Istanbul.
“These are small, incremental steps. We're not expecting any big breakthroughs, but we want to see a constructive process emerge,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters Thursday.
Earlier, the U.S. and its international partners had been expected to use this meeting to discuss a nuclear fuel swap offer with Iran, an update to a deal that Tehran initially accepted then rejected following an October 2009 meeting. Under such a deal, Iran would send its raw uranium abroad and would receive fuel for a nuclear reactor in return. Iran gets the fuel it wants for an energy reactor while the international community is assured Iran isn’t enriching that uranium further for use in a nuclear weapon. An updated offer would account for the fact that Iran has continued to produce uranium since October 2009, and so would include larger amounts of uranium.
Thursday, however, the State Department balked when asked if they would raise such an offer with Iran in Istanbul on Friday.
“I don't know if we're planning to bring it up. I think we're willing to discuss it,” Toner said.
“It would have to be some kind of updated arrangement,” he added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Russian Armed Forces on High Alert Over North Korea

Photo Courtesy - Yonhap News Agency(MOSCOW) -- Russia announced Tuesday that its armed forces in the east are on high alert.  This comes in light of what it calls an "inadequate situation" on the Korean peninsula as tensions have increased in recent weeks between the North and South.

The head of Russia's military said they continue to follow what is happening and have taken measures to raise the forces' combat readiness.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed his North Korean counterpart to Moscow.  In the meeting, Lavrov expressed concern with North Korea's ongoing uranium enrichment activities.  He also condemned North Korea's attack on the South's Yeonpyeong Island, which has been the source of the recent increased tension.

South Korea's top nuclear official is on his way to Moscow to discuss the disclosure of North Korea's newest uranium enrichment facility and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island.

Russia joined the U.S. and others in condemning the November attack, which killed four people and brought about the highest tension on the peninsula in years.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Iran Claims Nuclear Program is Self-Sufficient

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TEHRAN, Iran) -- An Iranian state official says that the country's nuclear program is now self-sufficient -- that it has produced its own uranium for enrichment, material that could be used to manufacture a nuclear weapon.

This latest development comes just ahead of Monday’s meeting in Geneva to persuade Iran to stop its nuclear program.

The announcement is a sign of defiance from Iran's government -- seen by some as political posturing -- and could signal that sanctions are working and that the country is finding it more difficult to secretly import raw uranium and yellowcake from abroad.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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