North Korea Has Allegedly Tested Nuclear Warheads For Iran

Tyler Durden's picture

What is one sure thing sure to set triggerhappy warmonger fingers in the US and Israel on Defcon 1 more than the word Iran? The words Iran and North Korea. How about three nouns that will send crude soaring by at least $10 the second a CL trading algo sees them fly across Bloomberg? Try "Iran" "North Korea" and "Nukes." And if the following report just released by the Wiener Zeitung is even remotely correct, then Israel, the military industrial complex, and crude are all about to go ballistic, not necessarily in that order. 

According to one of Europe's most famous newspapers, which in turn references a report in Welt am Sontag, North Korea has conducted at least two nuclear warhead tests in 2010, of which was on behalf of Iran. "This could mean that with North Korea's help Tehran may already have a tested nuclear warhead....According to the newspaper "Welt am Sonntag", this assumption is based on data from the Organization of the contract for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban. Accordingly, the Swedish nuclear physicist Lars-Erik De Geer uses data from monitoring stations in South Korea, Japan and Russia and believes that North Korea instead of uranium, used plutonium in two prior secret tests as far back as in 2006 and 2009." What is striking here is the effluvience of meaningless innuendo and baseless allegations. But this certain plant may well be the false flag straw that breaks the camel's back. While it is unclear if it was planted by the US or Israel is irrelevant, it has one simple mission - to preempt even more irrationality by Iran, a day after its parliamentary election has put president Ahmedinajad in power vacuum limbo, with his chief opponent gaining vast popular support. Which is precisely what is needed to validate a response.

More from the Austrians, google translated:

The longtime director of the Policy Planning Staff in the German Defense Ministry, Hans Rühle, writes in the "Welt am Sonntag" that "some of which now go out intelligence that North Korea has actually conducted a nuclear test in 2010, at least for Iran.

Supposedly this means that all military operations now will take for granted that the axis of uber-evil, i.e., North Korea and Iran, now just can't wait to shoot ICBMs at every capital in the "free and democratic" western world, just because they "hate it for its freedoms" [sic].

One does not have to be a rocket scientist to realize that this is simply yet another media fallback alibi to justify an offensive incursion into Iran, if and when it is required. The only question is if the global deflationary collapse (ala Lehman) will happen before or after, which in turn, as John Taylor wrote a few days ago, will then be promptly followed by the (luckily) terminal central planning hyper-reflation experiment.

In the meantime, let the crude liberation begin.

h/t JohnGaltFla

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smb12321's picture

It's beyond reason.  I've tried over and over to understand who folks claiming to be for personal, economic and political freedom can carry the ball for regimes that are the opposite of what they proclaim.  My guess is that they don't give a damn about liberty.  They never note the ultimate irony - only in the US (not Iran, Syria, China, Russia, Pakistan, N Korea) can you threaten, lamblast and curse the government with impunity.  It's so obvious but it's ignored.

They've preverted the idea of non-interference into support for regimes that routinely torture, starve or slaughter their own people AND censor public expression.  I've asked why (repeatedly) and never received anything other than childish obscenities or "You're a sheeple" or "Don't post here".  I know now there is no answer for their choice.  Oh well. 


trav7777's picture

you go fight

who gives a fuck what goes on in other regimes, it's not OUR business.  I'm not paying to try to save ragheads from other ragheads.

FeralSerf's picture

"Like one who takes a dog by the ears
Is he who passes by and meddles with strife not belonging to him." Proverbs 26:17

mkkby's picture

Are you so stupid you don't realize it's really all abou the petro dollar? The reason you are told to fuck off is we have enough of that argument in the media.  You're not adding anything expect repeating the propoganda.


Colombian Gringo's picture

If you feel so strongly, why not join the Syrian opposition, courtesy of the US, and free the poor arabs from their oppressive masters.   Lead by example, and fight if you are so convinced of the righteousness of your position. Otherwise, STFU.

tamboo's picture

sounds like joonocide to me, what a peaceful little tribe you have.


Element's picture


idlly by when Iran transports nuclear material to North Korea.


 Nuclear material is not illegal anywhere and countries transport it everyday.

Uranium can be easily shielded and hidden.

Plutonium is much harder to hide because it's so much more radioactive, as it comes from reprocessed irradiated reactor fuel, thus is full of unstable daughter products, even after reprocessing to remove much of it, and typically plutonium is at about 57 degrees C even when standing at room temperature (~25 degrees C)--so radioactive and self-heating, is it. 

Indeed plutonium warheads can suffer catastrophic thermal overheating from this, if the warhead design does not have sufficient heat-sink and passive cooling features.  The heated core plutonium can undergo a sudden instantaneous crystal lattice rearrangement, and this makes the warhead unable to generate an efficient nuclear yield (if any).

Plus the extra heat from even a well designed coolish warhead tends to accelerate the aging of the triggering HE explosives and support electronics package, requiring regular removals from service and rebuilding and comprehensive testing and replacing of components, for them to remain operational.

Consequently HEU isn't full of decaying daughter-products and thus suffers none of those limitations and serious safety and longevity problems. Thus they are much cheaper, more reliable, much easier to hide and transport, and last longer in storage. And thus HEU weapons are much harder to detect from radiation emission. In fact the Hiroshima bomb had neutron generators added to the core specifically to ensure enough decay-neutrons would be present in the core during the core assembly chain-reaction process for it to explode with acceptable efficiency of energy release from the core's atoms (about 1% of the HEU atoms are converted to light and subatomic particles in the core).

The US is most unlikely to assuredly detect a transported HEU weapon, especially when it can be transported in a Kilo class submarine, or else welded into a shielded protected cavity under the ship.  We're talking about something the size of a large bucket (so no, they don't have to arrive in shipping containers,in order to get into a US port, or any other port ... so don't attack them).

They can be very easily and successfully hidden and transported, just think about it a bit.

HEU weapons may be very slightly larger and 100kg heavier, but that have numerous other advantages, and these make them very desirable as 'stealthy' low-maintenance A-bombs.  So HEU warheads should be taken much more seriously because they have these tremendously desirable implicit features and are so radically simple to design and build, plus now they can be made almost as physically small as a plutonium warhead.  The complete warhead can fit inside a 20 liter drum, it weighs under 250kg, and with precision delivery is able to destroy any military target on earth that is not protected by a mountain, and even that might not be enough, if several were used.  And they are comparatively very cheap to make compared to the ridiculously expensive complicated and highly polluting and visible plutonium path.  Make no mistake, HEU bombs are the real secret-proliferation danger.  But for decades the media and politicians went on and on about reactors and plutonium and almost completely ignores HEU, and also assumed that you had to have reactors to make a working A-bomb, but that has NEVER been the case (as Hiroshima and the Russian Joe-1 proved).

The real advantage of plutonium implosion bomb designs is that its much easier to electronically and physically prevent unauthorised detonation from occurring, and to disable them.  That's the real reason the major powers arsenals are full of much more expensive and complicated plutonium bombs rather than HEU warheads.  It's not just about miniaturisation and lower weight.

If I were an Iranian I would think it would be very advantageous to utilise the DPRK's expertise and facilities.

As I've been saying we're now well past the point where we must suspect if not outright presume Iran already has several deliverable warheads on missiles, because given the technology, the time they have had it, and the threat circumstances involved, it is quite likely to be so.

Do you really want to find out?

And as for the ludicrously naive notion that it's a Muslim Sin to develop Nukes, better tell Pakistan to repent, pronto!


And I notice Pakistan finally came out and openly aligned themselves in support of Iran, if the West or Israel attacks Iran.

"... Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has recently announced his support of Iran. The relations between the United States and Pakistan have been growing intense recently indeed. ... A recent statement from the Pakistan President regarding a possible attack against Iran became another unpleasant surprise for the United States. Washington may not count on Islamabad's support in case of a military conflict with Iran. Furthermore, Pakistan will show a tough response to possible aggression. Pakistan and Iran need each other, and they will not tolerate any foreign interference, the Pakistani leader claimed.  Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar stated that she would like to have a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss opportunities for resuming allied relations between Islamabad and Washington. The geopolitical satiation in the Middle East continues to get worse. However, the US government takes no measures to improve its ties with Pakistan. As a result, the United States may finally lose the ally which received considerable military assistance from the Pentagon in the past. Nowadays, the US Army leaves its bases in the country because anti-American sentiments in the multi-million-strong country have reached their peak. ..."


At this point I'd say that's probably game set and match to Iran.

disabledvet's picture

i'm pretty sure you covered all the bases on this one.

Harlequin001's picture

Agreed. That's what happens when you elect second rate leaders.

You lose...

disabledvet's picture

i'm a big fan of analytics. nothing personal for all you winners our there! here's a pick me up for all you "concerned" out there:

Loose Caboose's picture


If you still believe in free and fair elections ..... you lose.

Wake the hell up - coffee's a brewing.


The Paucity of Hope's picture

When was the last time we had an opportunity to vote for someone good enough to be considered a second rate leader?

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

Not a pleasnt picture you painted on a lazy Sunday morning.

john39's picture

So pakistan's possession of the bomb (developed by a military hunta, not a theocracy) indicates that other muslim countries can't declare possession of nuclear weapons a sin?  better check your logic.

trav7777's picture

HEU??  It's ridiculously hard to GET any of this without massive refining capacity that is OBVIOUS to even those who aren't looking.

Pu239 is easier to make; you just need a reactor.

You cannot manufacture HEU without physically refining mountains of ordinary uranium.  Pu is easy to make in breeder reactors.  THIS is the reason the major powers went to Pu; it's simply superior for nuclear weapons all along the supply chain.

You can review the Manhattan Project if you disagree.  We used a substantial portion of the entire HEU inventory on little boy but were able to bang out a new Pu core per month with the reactors at Hanford.

FeralSerf's picture


"You cannot manufacture HEU without physically refining mountains of ordinary uranium."


Nonsense!  Natural uranium is approx. 0.7% U-235.  20 lbs. of U-235 would require just a few tons of natural uranium, much less than "mountains", unless your mountains are very small.

trav7777's picture

Do you understand anything about ore concentrations?

You need mountains of the stuff; please, review the difference between the productivity at oak ridge versus hanford.  You can read up on the manhattan project.  We acquired many thousands of tons of ore, and estimated the need for tens of thousands of centrifuges to produce a kilo of HEU per day.  we had to contract with shit as far away as africa to even get U ore to process in sufficient quantities.

The reason nuclear weapons use Pu239 is because it is superior for that purpose due to the far easier acquisition thereof.

Element's picture


The reason nuclear weapons use Pu239 is because it is superior for that purpose due to the far easier acquisition thereof.


That's an extremely narrow and very doubtful view of 'easier'.  

The burning of uranium (often requiring some percentage of U235 enrichment anyway, so you still need a centrifuge complex etc.) to create plutonium does not make it easier to acquire, it makes it vastly more problematic, dangerous, expensive and polluting.  All just to create warheads that are seriously more difficult and dangerous to fabricate, much more expensive, more difficult to handle, and more difficult to maintain and periodically rebuild.  The US just retired most of these quickly, and tried to build warheads that were less of a pain in the arse (and used a lot more HEU in these).

Alternatively an implosive HEU munition doesn't have these serious impairments nor life-cycle costs or the endless safety and security issues (HEU cores are much harder to find and target).

Plus its vastly easier to dilute and dispose of excess weapon-grade HEU.  You could even dilute it back to 1/144th of stainless steel, and bury the ingots in an an old uranium mine, with zero ill or unnatural cumulative effects.

But plutonium remains a serious problem for disposal as its radioactivity would require an enormous amount of dilution in other stable metals, in order to become as harmless and as inert as a 1/144th HEU stainless steel ingot.

Weapon-grade plutonium could only be considered 'easier' to acquire, if money were no object, and you were ignoring everything that's so abundantly negative about it, due to being in a nuclear arms race--which unfortunately is what happened.

But for a small and hopefully secret A-bomb program, HEU is always going to be a less visible, expensive or risky option, and that's the main point.

Element's picture

Exactly. Trav is talking complete nonsense.

Weapon-grade U-235 HEU is just 1/144th of all natural uranium.

Between 48kg and 60 kg HEU U235 was used in the Hiroshima bomb, so let's call it 55kg, and that's;

55kg * 144 = 7.9 metric tonnes of natural uranium needed per hiroshima-type A-bomb core.

With losses included let's call it a conservative 10 tonnes of uranium per bomb.

So you can build 50 Hiroshima gun-type HEU nukes with a mere 500 tonnes of uranium.  That ain't no mountain, that's about one train-load of yellow cake to convert to uranium hexafluoride.

But there is nothing to stop you designing a far smaller and lighter symmetrical implosive HEU munition core that uses substantially less HEU than that original (extremely wasteful oversize and very heavy) gun-type Hiroshima HEU design. That design was only developed as a fall back in order to be absolutely sure the US would have a working A-bomb that absolutely would go bang (and this didn't even need to be tested before being used in combat, so confident were they that such a super wasteful design would work). This was because no one was certain they could get the much more complex and smaller plutonium implosion core used at Nagasaki to work.  As it turned out the Trinity implosion test made it clear the Plutonium approach could also work acceptably reliably.

Thus a modern HEU munition won't use a gun-type assembly, but a high-density compaction of an imploding HEU core instead, to assemble a lower weight critical mass sphere (rather than a non-compressed crude mechanical juxtaposition of two parts slamming together that combined make up a transient critical mass assembly).

This means you may need only 5 tonnes of uranium per HEU A-bomb, so these can be generated much faster (or slower in greater secrecy) than before, and an implosion design then also incorporates all the very desirable physical and electronic safety constraints against the possibility of unauthorised detonation.

So this HEU path is clearly an optimal path to a small secret nuclear arsenal.

Thus compact tactical-yield HEU weapons in the 0.5 to 5 kiloton range are eminently viable, cheap to make, easy to design plus zero-yield test, and relatively simple to manufacture maintain and store safely. Yet safe to move about and very stealthy.

A small HEU arsenal can be easily achieved, secretly, over a period of years, let alone decades, especially if your enrichment technology is sufficiently conpact affordable and efficient.

High efficency laser enrichment is now a reality, since Australia developed SILEX during the mid-1980s, when it was operating two separate secret laser enrichment programs, simultaneously, right after closing down another secret gas-centrifuge enrichment plant in 1986, that had been operating since well before 1983 (and possibly as early as 1975). And an even earlier one, that was setup in 1965, and shut down some time before 1973, as the NPT was ratified.

This new laser enrichment process demonstrated efficiencies levels that was claimed by SILEX to, AT A MINIMUM, exceed 20 times the efficiency of the then current operational US uranium enrichment techniques in 2001 (the true efficency remains classified by Australia and the US, but it we know it was spectacularly higher then anyone ever thought possible).  Plus it's physically much smaller and unobtrusive, lower cost, solid-state (not a mechanical process) and low maintenance, and uses much less power and area than earlier enrichment techniques, requiring far fewer staff, and thus far less chance for discovery, and a greater capacity to maintain security and access control.

Australia developed SILEX in secret, in plain sight, at an IAEA safeguarded facility.

It was never discovered (none of the four enrichment programs were discovered over 3 decades of operations! ... so much for the IAEA safeguard formalities).  So other than the use of uranium hexafluoride the SILEX process didn't actually resemble any usual form of uranium enrichment processing. So no one had a clue until Canberra was ready to reveal it's existence to the US Govt, in about 1996.  In 1994 the other competing ANSTO Govt laser enrichment effort was disbanded at the same IAEA safeguarded site, and some of the equipment from it was re-used in the supposedly 'private' SILEX program.

This technology will by now have been replicated by others, or soon will be. And then it will be operating elsewhere in secret.  It is believed Israel developed a less efficient and more problematic laser enrichment process, but it also is way ahead of first and second generation of uranium enrichment technologies, that all other nuclear powers used to make large stocks of HEU.

So things have really changed, and HEU is now potentially the fastest cheapest and most stealthy way to produce weapon-grade fissile weapon cores, plus uranium is abundant and many countries have extractable deposits, and mining and extraction techniques have also reduced costs and increased the speed of acquiring a national uranium reserve stockpile.

So creating HEU is hardly the major challenge it once was.  The US and Russia each created large stocks of weapon-grade HEU by the mid-1960s.  The British also were pumping out weapon-grade HEU amazingly quickly during the late 1950s.

"Britain's indigenous supply of enriched uranium is supplied by the gaseous diffusion plant at Capenhurst, originally the site of a Royal Ordnance factory, 25 miles from Risley in Cheshire. Although an enrichment plant was authorized in October 1946, the site was not selected until early 1950. Capenhurst made its initial start up in February 1952, but did not successfully enter operation until 1953 (producing low enriched uranium), and did not produce highly enriched uranium (HEU) until 1954. The plant was given successive upgrades during the fifties, reaching a military significant capacity of 125 kg of highly enriched uranium a year in 1957, and much higher levels in 1959 (as much as 1600 kg/yr, or an enrichment capacity of 325,000 SWU/yr). Capenhurst operated as a source of HEU at full capacity only until the end of 1961. Most of the stages were shut down at that point and the plant converted to low-enriched uranium production for civil reactor use. The 1996 SIPRI estimate was 3.8-4.9 tonnes of HEU being produced, almost all of it in 1959-1961."

Carey Sublet, High Energy Weapons Archive

Lets call it about 4.5 tonnes of HEU was created by UK by the end of 1961, which at a conservative 30 kg per implosive A-bomb core equates to enough for about 130 HEU A-bombs, or enough for use in about 75 much higher yield thermonuclear designs.

This was achieved only 16 years from Hiroshima, by a country that was both devastated and basically in economic collapse and almost broke.

The Russians also built the HEU JOE-1 very quickly because they could build the enrichment capability up quickly, and mine and enrich uranium quickly even with crude first-generation technology and zero experience doing it.

And then there was the USA:

"...The U.S. has produced no new nuclear warheads in the past ten years (the last fissile bomb core was fabricated in December 1989, the last weapon was assembled 31 July 1990). ... A total of 90.5 tonnes of weapon grade plutonium was produced by the U.S. 54.5 tonnes of this was produced at Hanford, 36 tonnes was produced at Savannah River. Three countries provided the bulk of the foreign-derived material: United Kingdom (5,384 kilograms), Canada (254.5 kg) and Taiwan (79.1 kg). ... On 1 March 1995, President Clinton declared 212.5 tonnes of highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium to be excess to national security needs. Since that time additional information about the amount, locations, and forms of this material has been released. The excess plutonium (38.2 tonnes) is stored at 10 locations in Washington, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico (two locations), Texas, Ohio, New York, Tennessee and South Carolina. The HEU (174.3 tonnes) is stored at six locations in Washington, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and South Carolina. It is expected that the HEU will be blended with natural uranium to produce some 7000 tonnes of civilian power plant fuel over 8-10 years. About 10 tonnes of HEU has already been placed under international safeguards at the Oak Ridge Y-12 site.  The excess HEU consists of 33 tonnes of >92% enrichment material (originally used or intended for weapon primary cores), and 142 tonnes of 20-92% enrichment material (much of it used or intended for thermonuclear secondaries). No HEU for weapons use has been produced since 1964, and production of HEU for use in naval reactors ended in 1991 with future needs to be met from the stockpile. ... "

- Carey Sublet, High Energy Weapons Archive


And Russia declared about 500 tonnes of HEU 'excess' to needs after the cold war!!  So the Russians obviously loved HEU, and created by far the largest amounts of it:

"By end of 2011, 442.5 tons of HEU (equivalent to 17,698 nuclear warheads eliminated) was blended down and delivered to the U.S."-

Note that these official Russian figures imply 25kg HEU per warhead, which means they were of course using the far more efficient implosion-type HEU core designs. The Russians were more than happy to build-up a gigantic HEU-based nuclear arsenal. 

Indeed, there has been speculation that the US's more recent strategic thermonuclear warhead designs were primarily made of HEU (of various percentages) and that the vast bulk of energy released comes not from fusion of lithium-6 deuteride and/or tritium, but from secondary fissioning of a HEU and even DU casing. The fusioning releases lots more neutrons than the fissioning does, which then causes the unfissioned fraction that remains to begin to fission again, thus the HEU may generate up to 90% of the total energy released by a thermonuclear bomb. i.e. fusion neutrons makes fissioning super-efficient. Thus to vary the thermonuclear yield you just add or subtract HEU. And/or you change the arrangement of neutron shielding present, with a boron carbide neutron absorber that can alter preheating and thermal expansion in the secondary, that interferes with efficient secondary implosion and fusion yield. So you can then make the warhead yield as much or as little as required.

So any way; the US acquired a grand total of 90.5 tones of weapon-grade Plutonium during the cold war.

The excess Plutonium was 38.2 tonnes, from the combined total of 212.5 tones of 'excess' weapon-grade materials, thus the amount of excess HEU in 1995 was then;

212.5 - 38.2 = 173.4 tonnes of HEU deemed surplus to requirements (and all of it intended for use in nuclear weapon cores and tampers).

So just this discarded HEU excess weapon-grade stock was 191.6% larger than the total peak stock of weapon-grade Plutonium that the USA ever acquired. And this is not even counting the large stockpile the US still retained for weapons and future naval reactor use, at that time, in 1995.

And the key sentence is this; "No HEU for weapons use has been produced since 1964, ...", which means all of the many hundreds of tonnes of HEU was created before 1964!  

i.e. it was all enriched within just 19 years of Hiroshima's destruction.

And once the USA had produced such a glut of weapon-grade HEU that it was pointless to make more, the US stopped enriching uranium above civilian reactor-grade from 1964.

So creating HEU, in huge amounts was not slow at all, it was instead extremely rapid once it got properly rolling, and was done to global-overkill levels, in very short order.

Iran has had the Pakistani (URENCO) enrichment technology available to it for over 20 years.  It would be foolish in the extreme to assume they did not use it to secretly build up a national stock of weapon-grade HEU from a small hidden underground enrichment program, since about 1990, or soon after this.  Iran was literally surrounded and being repeatedly threatened by nuclear powers the whole time.  All that Iran is doing now is up-scaling the once secret underground effort and doing this more openly, because it can no longer be hidden, and also, it no longer NEEDS to be hidden.

Iran is now in a position to withstand a military challenge or else test a weapon, if necessary, to prove a capability exists to an aggressor, and that it has existed for several years.
So I reiterate, HEU is overwhelmingly the ideal path to secretly acquired weapon-grade fissile material.  A large nuclear reactor complex is unnecessary to obtain nukes, and a reactor only becomes essential if a state wants to constantly replenished supply of tritium for a standing strategic-yield EMP capability.

Weapon-grade plutonium is actually 100% unnecessary if a prospective nuclear-armed state decides it does not want either plutonium bombs, or nuclear reactors.  That is something most people still don't realise.


It would be a good idea to change policy and not continually antagonise and vilify Iran.

Benjamin Glutton's picture

what Trav is saying is nonsense...

the process does not begin with yellowcake...picture of moved mountain(uranium ore mine)

after some additional refining you get yellowcake...picture(LEU)

Yellowcake (also called urania) is a kind of uranium concentrate powder obtained from leach solutions, in an intermediate step in the processing of uranium ores.[1] Yellowcake concentrates are prepared by various extraction and refining methods, depending on the types of ores. Typically, yellowcakes are obtained through the milling and chemical processing of uranium ore forming a coarse powder which has a pungent odor, is insoluble in water and contains about 80% uranium oxide, which melts at approximately 2878 °C. Although uranium is one of the densest metals on Earth, yellowcake is relatively light, with a density approximately that of elemental sulfur.

Though perhaps sloppy Trav seemed to be referring to Uranium processing beginning in its natural state(in the earth).

You cannot manufacture HEU without physically refining mountains of ordinary's simply superior for nuclear weapons all along the supply chain.

You offer the following in response...

Exactly. Trav is talking complete nonsense.

Weapon-grade U-235 HEU is just 1/144th of all natural uranium.

Between 48kg and 60 kg HEU U235 was used in the Hiroshima bomb, so let's call it 55kg, and that's;

55kg * 144 = 7.9 metric tonnes of natural uranium needed per hiroshima-type A-bomb core.

With losses included let's call it a conservative 10 tonnes of uranium per bomb.

So you can build 50 Hiroshima gun-type HEU nukes with a mere 500 tonnes of uranium.  That ain't no mountain, that's about one train-load of yellow cake to convert to uranium hexafluoride.


The point is that you must in fact move (mine)a mountain of material to build Ubombs.

Element's picture

Thanks for that, I see your point;

A HEU core may require as little as 25 kg of weapon grade (~93.5% U235) HEU.

25 * 144 = 3.6 tonnes of uranium required to get the necessary HEU (let's call it 4.0 tonnes).

If the ore grade is o.2% the uranium is still only 1/500th the material mined;

So to get the 4.0 tonnes of uranium for one bomb, you would need,

4.0 * 500 = 2,000 tonnes of ore

So 10 weapons would require the mining of 20,000 tonnes of ore at 0.2% grade.

So several train loads of ore must be refined from a small deposit to obtain the initial arsenal.

Yes, Trav is somewhat correct in that case, but 20,000 tonnes is by no means a mountain-sized deposit.

To produce 100 HEU weapons it's still just 200,000 tonnes of ore, to obtain 400 tonnes of natural uranium, for conversion and enrichment.

That is in fact still a small uranium mine, and a very small ore deposit, of prosaic grade. 

In most cases, depending on the host rocks and secondary mineralisation, the oxide is fairly easy to separate from tails.   This is not much of a physical, economic or technical hurdle for almost any state with a modest 500 tonne U3O8 alluvial emplacement deposit.

I'm actually surprised and shocked by how small a deposit is required to build a substancial HEU nuclear arsenal. I had expected it would have to be three or four times larger, which is why I previously mentioned a 2,000 tonne deposit, a deposit size which is frankly still tiny, by Australia deposit size standards. Amazing.


 EDIT: One last thing though, your link to the image of the Ranger pit provides a quite incorrect and misleading impression of what is required.  Ranger is a gigantic deposit, and also mine, that's producing up to 5,500 tonnes of U3O8 per year in recent years.  Which means it takes only about 13.5% of Rangers entire annual production to creat the HEU for 100 A-bombs, i.e. ony about 2 months of digging.  This mine has been operating since the early 1970s.  So the actual mine and deposit required, to make such a powerful arsenal, is indeed very small, and nothing whatever like this Ranger image.

boiltherich's picture

Everything Trav says is psychotic bullshit. 

Element's picture


... you just need a reactor.


I think you'll find Iraq and Syria would have preferred a hidden underground HEU production plant, in retrospect.

And since when is mining and production of yellow-cake or the building of a national stockpile of uranium illegal, or even any cause for alarm? Any Sovereign country is entitled to do it and they don't need anyone's permission. 

Small uranium oxide deposits 2k tonnes are hardly rare or unusual occurrences and that's potentially enough for hundreds of HEU A-bombs.  With typical ore grades about 0.025 to 0.25%, you certainly won't need to process a mountain, or anywhere near that, to get a small initial arsenal of ten or so, then build up from there.

Jake88's picture

Mind boggling.  Meanwhile the CIA tells us Iran is not working on nuclear weapons and Isreal is chomping at the bit to attack Iran before they get them.  How can this be true? Why is this not discussed in the media? If true an attack from Isreal would give Iran and Pakistan the excuse they need to annihilate Isreal.  How close do you need to get one of these bombs to a US carrier in order to sink it. Sounds too insane to be true.

earleflorida's picture

Total bullshit, period!

Plutonium - what a joke,... definitely a falseflag innuendo, period!

YellowCake = Uranium [U-235] Oxide, and the CNOR / G-2 System [~ late 1960's] is Iran's chosen method.

Summary: uranium's natural state has a potency of near-zero, but, the nuclear club had found an easy way to produce, ie. convert it into a fissile [state] material. raw uranium [mined in australia, canada, niger, russia, south africa, u.s, etc.,] had to be crushed, mixed with water and put through a chemical process to purify it into uranium oxide [yellowcake]. for every 1k atoms of yellowcake, only 7 atoms would be uranium-235 [u-235], the fissionable isotope needed to arm an atomic bomb **[note: the remaining 993 atoms being uranium-238 were a heavier, and superfluous element unstable and of no practical use for weaponry manufacturing]. Now, for weapons use, the concentration of U-235 has to be enhanced from 0.07% to an excess of 93%. This  procedure/ process is complex, and very expensive called "Enrichment". You need 10's of thousands of [aluminum tubes ~ 6ft in height and `18" diameter] centrifuges cascading in tandem standing vertically [think of a cigar tube upside down].

Briefly, the centrifugal force [~70k rpm] called vertical separation splits apart the atoms of the U-235 from U-238. Into these tubes is injected a gas refined from yellowcake [U-235] called Uranium Hexafluoride [UF6] which was then spun by rotars fast enough to separate its isotopes. the heavier U-238 is thrown outwards and slides down the centrifuge's drum below to a waste pipe below, while the lighter and fissionable U-235 concentrated at the central axis is to be sucked out through an exit pipe. This entire process continues.

Wash, rinse, and repeat cycle? The Uranium Hexafluoride Gas [UF6] that is fed into the centrifuges would be continuously poured from one centrifuge to the next, by what is called a "Feed and Withdrawal System",via pipes, valves, and compressors that guided the gas [F6] on its journey to enrichment. The enrich U-235 would then be taken to another facility called the, "Gasification and Solidification Plant" where its package and stored to turn it into metal, and shape into small spheres, suitable to retro-fit nuclear warheads.

Important: There are, what are called theoretical "Cold Test" done, that are simulated on super-computers for the authenticity of a reliable detonation,... using multiple detonators equating to a fail-safe bomb enactment.

Finally, I hope this helps you realize that this Alumni Member of the Jewish Univarisity is a paid shill of ?

Ps.   FWIW: Even 'Mossad' is against a  Netanyahu [BB] attack on Iran

HarryM's picture

From Israel's perspective - "Just because your paranoid doesn't mean their not trying to get you".

Surely these are words readers of this Blog can associate with.

FeralSerf's picture

They made their bed. They can sleep in it.  They're too ugly to be our bed partner.'s picture

Just because you make attempts to to protect yourself based on paranoiac fears doesn't mean that those very actions won't inadvertently lead to your destruction.

The Big Ching-aso's picture



N. Korea's response when Iran gets attacked by the U.S., Israel, G. Britain, and Germany....."You on you phucking own round eye."

i-dog's picture

Nobody's attacking anybody. The US fleet is nowhere nearby and the detail in the story "nuclear warhead tests in 2010" is a giveaway that it's just recycled fear-mongering.

The Big Ching-aso's picture



Hey, what are you a human crystal ball?      You don't know for sure, I don't know for sure, but what I do know is that in this crazy-ass world.....

Anything's possible.    However remotely small the odds appear to be.


Spirit Of Truth's picture

History is predetermined as exemplified by Bible prophecy.  We experience the story as it unfolds as probabilistic particulars, but this is just wave-particle duality on the human scale IMHO.

DJIA appears to be peaking at 13K.

The next leg down according to the Elliott Wave Principle should be an "Apocalypse Wave".  Russia and China have misled the West into a false sense of security to unleash a surprise third world war and thereby dominate the world.  Puppet states like Iran and North Korea are being utilized to start World War Three in such a manner that the world will blame Israel, America and the Western powers for triggering the global holocaust of mass destruction.  Most here are following the script being written for them accordingly and as such are cooperating in their own destruction.

I say it's time to stop reading this tragic story and seek to rewrite a happy ending, but it seems like no one will ever get what I mean.

"History is a capricious creature.  It depends on who writes it." - Mikhail Gorbachev

Michael's picture

I don't think we need to start WW3 over money.

It's only money.

john39's picture

you might want to dig a little deeper into the bible's history. this might help you see why it so dangerous to blindly rely on scripture for direction.   the first question would be, how many "gods" are described in the old testament?  who changed the old summarian stories to make the "hebrew"?  why were the gnostic gospels and all their warnings about the "war" god removed from Christian theology....  in short, the bible has been converted to an elaborate mind control and propaganda piece, which renders blind adherence to scripture nothing less than catastrophic. 

spanish inquisition's picture

Good point. The "prophecy" spoken of earlier in this thread is more closely related to PKD's Paycheck than the bible story book.

Spirit Of Truth's picture

I concur for the most part john39.

Watched The Last Tomb Of Jesus last night.  Thought to myself, if most of what the filmmaker can be verified, then this puts the scriptures in their proper historical light.  But even when it comes to a man-created myth, if God is the ultimate Author of HIS-tory, then the myth can be used for revealing the relative truth.  This, I believe, is where the role of the Antichrist comes in. You show your creatures 'the truth' by making 'the lie' as blatantly obvious as can be and then rely on the light of reason to win the day over the murderous darkness of blind faith.  This goes for all three of the Abrahamic religions.


d_senti's picture

Uh, I thought YOU were Christ. At least that's what you've claimed on your blog, mostly because of a birthmark. You're bipolar and delusional, dude. Get some help.

Reese Bobby's picture

You are lost and need a primer.  Try "Mere Christianity" by C.L. Lewis.  Just do the best you can.

Lower Class Elite's picture

Actually he should check out the complete Hitchiker's Guide series.  Much more accurate and helpful than the bible.

sessinpo's picture

"I don't think we need to start WW3 over money."


As far as I know, every war in my lifetime has been done without my consent or the consent of the majority or the approval of congress.

Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

No,it's only paper.Gold is real money.

unununium's picture

How would *you* feel if they were threatening to take away your magic genie lamp?

GoinFawr's picture

Just three more wishes!

SelfGov's picture

Yeah the US doesn't want to be anywhere near anyplace that gets bombed by Israel.

How do you think it would look if all of our boats were in a position that made it look like we knew it was coming?