Iranian scientists have run computer simulations for a nuclear weapon that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, according to a diagram obtained by The Associated Press.
The diagram was leaked by officials from a country critical of Iran's atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran's nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon. The officials provided the diagram only on condition that they and their country not be named.
The International Atomic Energy Agency — the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog — reported last year that it had obtained diagrams indicating that Iran was calculating the "nuclear explosive yield" of potential weapons. A senior diplomat who is considered neutral on the issue confirmed that the graph obtained by the AP was indeed one of those cited by the IAEA in that report. He spoke only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue.
The IAEA report mentioning the diagrams last year did not give details of what they showed. But the diagram seen by the AP shows a bell curve — with variables of time in micro-seconds, and power and energy both in kilotons — the traditional measurement of the energy output, and hence the destructive power of nuclear weapons. The curve peaks at just above 50 kilotons at around 2 microseconds, reflecting the full force of the weapon being modeled.
The bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima in Japan during World War II, in comparison, had a force of about 15 kilotons. Modern nuclear weapons have yields hundreds of times higher than that.
The diagram has a caption in Farsi: "Changes in output and in energy released as a function of time through power pulse." The number "5'' is part of the title, suggesting it is part of a series.
The IAEA recently released its latest report on Iranian nuclear activities. It included this:
39. Previous reports by the Director General have identified outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and actions required of Iran to resolve these.41 Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.But all this evidence is apparently nothing, because Iran's Supreme Leader issued a fatwa forbidding the development of nuclear weapons. And he would never, ever, ever lie.
40. The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65) provided a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency, indicating that Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. This information, which comes from a wide variety of independent sources, including from a number of Member States, from the Agency’s own efforts and from information provided by Iran itself, is assessed by the Agency to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that, prior to the end of 2003 the activities took place under a structured programme; that some continued after 2003; and that some may still be ongoing. Since November 2011, the Agency has obtained more information which further corroborates the analysis contained in the aforementioned Annex.
42. As indicated in Section B above, since the November 2011 Board, the Agency, through several rounds of formal talks and numerous informal contacts with Iran, has made intensive efforts to seek to resolve all of the outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme, especially with respect to possible military dimensions, but without concrete results.
43. Parchin:...information provided to the Agency by Member States indicates that Iran constructed a large explosives containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments;45 such experiments would be strong indicators of possible nuclear weapon development....the Agency notified Iran of that location in January 2012. Iran has stated that “the allegation of nuclear activities in Parchin site is baseless”.46
44. As previously reported, satellite imagery available to the Agency for the period from February 2005 to January 2012 shows virtually no activity at or near the building housing the containment vessel. Since the Agency’s first request for access to this location, however, satellite imagery shows that extensive activities and resultant changes have taken place at this location. [to remove evidence - EoZ]
54. Contrary to the Board resolutions of November 2011 and September 2012, and despite the intensified dialogue between the Agency and Iran since January 2012, no concrete results have been achieved in resolving the outstanding issues, including Iran having not concluded and implemented the structured approach. The Director General is, therefore, unable to report any progress on clarifying the issues relating to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme.
Unless he wants to.
(h/t CHA, Andre)