Friday, August 6, 2004

Iran Wants Gas; May Get Circumcised.

Much is being made of Iran’s drive to develop nuclear weapons. Israel is almost being baited into taking out their facilities. But even from the most learned of sources, we have to be cautious where news reporting leads us.

I like the American Foreign Policy Council a lot. Good, timely, and detailed information. A recent report out of their Russian Reporter reads:

“IRAN SEEKS RUSSIAN ASSISTANCE FOR ADVANCED NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Reuters cites a report by an unnamed intelligence agency that claims Iranian agents are negotiating with a Russian company to buy a substance that can boost the power of nuclear weapons. According to the intelligence report, which cites “knowledgeable Russian sources,” Iranian middlemen are in the “advanced stages of negotiations in Russia” to buy deuterium gas, which can be combined with tritium to boost nuclear blasts in fusion bombs. An official with Russia’s Atomic Energy Agency, however, told the news agency he had heard nothing about the attempts to buy deuterium.”

Sounded bad. But my first thought was alternative uses of deuterium gas. A couple of sites are quick to find.

Spectra Gases reads:

“Deuterium gas is used in nuclear power, fusion power, lasers and lighting. It can be used to prepare deuterated biological compounds, deuterated lubricants, deuterated optical fibers and in electronics as a replacement for hydrogen in the annealing or sintering of silicon based semiconductors, flat panel displays, and solar panels.”

Another site reads:

“Typical Applications:
1) To optimize gate oxide reliability in transistors
2) To realize higher reliability in thin-tunnel oxides for nonvolatile memories
3) Used as an isotopic tracer in investigations of chemical and biochemical reactions involving hydrogen.
4) Deuterium arc lamps for the HPLC user
5) Deuterium, either in deuterium oxide or in lithium deuteride (LiD), and tritium are essential components of nuclear fusion weapons, or hydrogen bombs.”

Here’s an article that expands the optical fiber use a bit.

So, if this stuff can be so critical to the enhanced performance of nuclear weapons, one would hope it cost a lot, eh?

About $329.00 for 50 liters.

Not a bad price when allocated over the additional soft targets it will take out. Or data packets it transmits.

So, do we think Iran is buying the gas from Russia to enhance nuclear weapons or data transmission? Too important to be wrong – let Israel loose.

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