GS Paper 3
Topics Covered: Indigenization of technology.
Iran’s stockpile of 20% enriched uranium has reached over 210 kilograms, the latest defiant move ahead of upcoming nuclear talks with the West.
- Also, so far the Iran agency has also produced 25 kilograms of 60% enriched uranium, a level that only countries with nuclear weapons have the physical capabilities to produce.
What’s the cause for concern?
- Under the historic 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the World Powers, Iran was not meant to enrich uranium above 3.67%.
- The U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the nuclear deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, but Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have tried to preserve the accord.
- Please note that enriched uranium above 90% can be used for nuclear weapons.
In September, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran’s stockpile of uranium enriched to up to 20% fissile purity was estimated at 84.3 kilograms (185 pounds) up from 62.8 kilograms (138 pounds) three months earlier.
The 2015 deal promises Iran economic incentives in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, and is meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb.
- The U.S. unilaterally pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, but Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia have tried to preserve the accord.
- Under the deal with world powers, the other signatories were to provide Iran with 20% enriched uranium needed for its research reactor.
- Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran was prohibited from enriching uranium above 3.67% with the exception of its research reactor activities.
What is the goal of uranium enrichment?
Uranium contains a rare radioactive isotope, called U-235, that can be used to power nuclear reactors at low enrichment levels and to fuel nuclear bombs at much higher levels.
- The goal of uranium enrichment is to raise the percentage levels of U-235, which is often done through the use of centrifuges — machines that spin a form of unrefined uranium at high speeds.
What’s the concern now?
What makes the enrichment particularly threatening is that the tricky process of enrichment becomes far easier and requires fewer centrifuges as it moves into the higher purities. In other words, getting to 90 percent purity is much easier starting from 20 percent, and easier still starting from 60 percent.
Do you know about India’s nuclear triad? Reference: read this.
- What is JCPOA? Signatories.
- Iran and its neighbours.
- What is IAEA? Relation with the UN.
- Members of IAEA.
- Programs of IAEA.
- Board of Governors- composition, voting and functions.
- What is Uranium Enrichment?
Write a note on JCPOA.
Sources: the Hindu.