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Old Aug 20th 2015, 06:15 PM
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kowalskil kowalskil is offline
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Default Nuclear Iran?

Nuclear Iran?

I agree with those who think the Iran agreement should be supported, first because nothing better seems to be available, second because I suspect that technological means of supervision (to avoid a global catastrophe), are available in the USA. Here is what I have just posted on that subject, at an Internet forum for physics teachers:

" ... How can one detect the strongly-enriched uranium, placed either inside or outside of a bomb? I am sure that nuclear physicists have been addressing this problem, in the context of inspecting vessels arriving to our ports, or crossing our borders.

One possible approach is to irradiate a suspected object with a source of slow neutrons (for example, a Cf-252 source surrounded by pure graphite or paraffin). The slow neutrons, in turn, would induce fission; fission fragments would be gamma radioactive and gamma rays would be detectable from outside the suspected material. ... " The idea is simple, but it presents some practical difficulties, as always. For example, how can one distinguish gamma rays emitted by fission products in the enriched uranium from the gamma rays emitted by fission products in the Cf-252 source? Will the method work despite the presence of the cosmic background?

Ludwik Kowalski, a retired nuclear physicist (see Wikipedia)

http: //csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html
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http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html

It is a testimony based on a diary kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA).
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Old Aug 21st 2015, 06:03 PM
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Michael Michael is offline
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Default Re: Nuclear Iran?

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Originally Posted by kowalskil View Post
Nuclear Iran?

I agree with those who think the Iran agreement should be supported, first because nothing better seems to be available, second because I suspect that technological means of supervision (to avoid a global catastrophe), are available in the USA. Here is what I have just posted on that subject, at an Internet forum for physics teachers:

" ... How can one detect the strongly-enriched uranium, placed either inside or outside of a bomb? I am sure that nuclear physicists have been addressing this problem, in the context of inspecting vessels arriving to our ports, or crossing our borders.

One possible approach is to irradiate a suspected object with a source of slow neutrons (for example, a Cf-252 source surrounded by pure graphite or paraffin). The slow neutrons, in turn, would induce fission; fission fragments would be gamma radioactive and gamma rays would be detectable from outside the suspected material. ... " The idea is simple, but it presents some practical difficulties, as always. For example, how can one distinguish gamma rays emitted by fission products in the enriched uranium from the gamma rays emitted by fission products in the Cf-252 source? Will the method work despite the presence of the cosmic background?

Ludwik Kowalski, a retired nuclear physicist (see Wikipedia)

http: //csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html
The recent agreement with Iran may talk about the mechanisms of verification, but lets be honest here - the real issue is all about the US government pandering to US allies Saudi Arabia and Israel and doing so without pissing on everyone else. Everything else is just window-dressing and political theater - including any verification regime.

Bottom line is that if USA wants to nuke or invade Iran for a pretended violation of the agreement (cheered on by the House of Saud and Israel), no verification process is going to make one whit of difference (cf. Iraq). It is all about politics and PR, not nuclear science.
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