Iran may create bomb three times the force of Hiroshima

An undated diagram that was given to the AP by officials of a country critical of Iran's atomic program allegedly calculating the explosive force of a nuclear weapon

by The Commentator on 28 November 2012 10:28

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A new graph handed to the Associated Press has shown that 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.

AP reports that the diagram (below) 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 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported last year that it had obtained diagrams indicating that Iran was calculating the "nuclear explosive yield" of potential weapons. 

"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."

A caption in Farsi, below the diagram, reads: "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.

Experts have however suggested that while the diagram looks genuine, it seems to be designed more "to understand the process" than as part of a blueprint for an actual weapon in the making.

Iran has refused to halt uranium enrichment and also refused for years to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear agency's efforts to investigate its program.

The IAEA has stated that Iran may have conducted tests of conventional explosives that could be used to detonate a nuclear weapon at Parchin, a military base southeast of Tehran. 

A senior diplomat familiar with the Iran probe said the agency has not yet determined any connection between Parchin and the computer models. But Olli Heinonen, who headed the IAEA's Iran investigation until 2010, said using the results of the alleged Parchin tests would "make sense as part of the design and testing of a (computer) model."

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