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.