What You Need to Know about Iran’s Nuclear Program

Yesterday’s post topic was fun; today’s topic is very serious. I don’t want to get into the politics of U.S. foreign policy and Middle East tensions. But to be prepared for any possible serious disaster, we occasionally need to consider dangers from other nations. Economic collapse in an EU nation could harm our economy. A war in the Middle East could skyrocket oil prices (and other prices). But if Iran obtains nuclear bombs, things could get very much worse. So I will offer a brief overview of Iran’s nuclear program:

1. Not for peaceful purposes. At this point, it is obvious that Iran is enriching uranium in such high volumes, and to such a high degree of purity, that the main purpose of the program is to make nuclear weapons.

2. As of the most recent International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report (22 May 2013), Iran has over 14,000 IR-1 (first generation) centrifuges, at two facilities. Soon they will have the capability to make 30 nukes a year.

3. The same IAEA report finds that Iran has begun installing hundreds of IR-2m (second generation) centrifuges, which are 3 to 5 times more efficient at enriching uranium. With these centrifuges, Iran could conceivably “breakout” (rush to make weapon-grade uranium) between IAEA inspections, which occur every week or two. They could make an excuse to turn away inspectors once or twice, without much risk of a military strike, buying enough time to make highly enriched uranium.

4. As of now, Iran has sufficient uranium gas (190 kg), enriched to the 20% level of purity, to make one medium yield, or a few low yield, nuclear bombs within 1.4 months, if they chose to enrich that uranium further. See this ISIS report for an analysis of the amount of 20% uranium needed to make Weapon-Grade Uranium (90% purity).

5. International observers have been estimating for some time now that Iran will be able to make nuclear bombs sometime during 2013.

6. Even if the U.S. or Israel stop Iran from making nuclear bombs, they have enough low enriched uranium to make thousands of dirty bombs.

7. ISIS (the Institute for Science and International Security) has repeatedly warned that Iran may have a third secret uranium enrichment facility, in addition to the two known facilities, that could already be making weapon-grade uranium covertly.

8. One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day.

What can you do to prepare? I suggest putting together an emergency radioactive fallout kit, to include:

a. TUMS (or generic Calcium Carbonate tablets) in 1000 mg strength; 4 tablets per person per day times 30 days (or more).
b. Gaviscon tablets, 8 extra strength tablets, one time only, per person.
c. Arm and Hammer (or other brand) baking soda
d. Potassium Iodide tablets (KI or KIO3), enough for 30 days (or longer) per person.
e. Passive radiation detection card: RADtriage
f. optional (expensive) — Gamma Scout active radiation detector

See my previous post, Antacids as a Treatment for Exposure to Nuclear Fallout, on the usefulness of products like TUMS, Gaviscon, and baking soda to treat internal exposure to nuclear fallout.

– Thoreau

7 Responses to What You Need to Know about Iran’s Nuclear Program

  1. The Tums, Gaviscon and baking soda are unlilkely to do any good. Fallout is deadly if you are underneath or immediately downwind of the mushroom cloud. The one thing we learned from the two nukes used in Japan is that the fallout was not nearly as dangerous as we assumed. Most people died right away or within weaks to months from physical injuries from buildings falling on them or from burns due to the tremendous heat the bombs generated. very few died from the effects of radiation. And the thought that taking a few Tums might have made a difference is laughable.
    If a few nukes are used in the middle east it is likely that measurable fallout will circle the earth but it is unlikely any humans far from the Middle East will be harmed. A massive nuclear exchange would be a whole different ballgame but again tums and Gaviscon aren’t going to help you.

    The Iodine tablets may be effective but most people in the U.S. do not have a iodine deficiency and probably won’t need the Iodine pills.

    • I’m not a physician, so I’m just going by the National Council on Radiation Protection and the U.S. HHS recommendations. They say that if you have internal contamination with certain isotopes, certain antacids can reduce your exposure and help clear your system sooner.

  2. To be honest and without meaning or intending to sound anti American but I see the US as a greater threat to world peace than the Syrians, from history I look at the number of countrys that has used nukes in anger so far, and I also look at which country out of the US and Iran who has invaded or attacked the most other nations in the last few hundred years.

  3. In 1945 as the U.S. prepared to end WW II in Japan an invasion was expected to cause between 1 million and 4 million allied deaths. The Japanese themselves were committed to use civilians and young children to repel the invasion and their estimates were 20 million deaths. Russia was preparing to invade Western Japan and their intent was to create a divided Japan just as they created a divided Germany and occupy if forever. Those two little bombs scared the Japanese leaders and saved millions of lives and allowed the U.S. (the country you see as the greatest threat) to rebuild Japan into a great nation. But don’t worry your comment didn’t sound “anti-American”…

  4. Well of course of using nuclear weapons on civilian targets in a war or conflict is justified then I assume flying air liners into trade centers is equally just for an enemy who seeks to strike a massively superior force?

  5. If we in the west can justify nuking a city full of civilians, carpet bombing Hanoi, Levelling Bagdad etc that then opens the door for a military weaker enemy to strike our civilian targets.