U.S. Raises Monitoring of Iranian Reactor


bushehr-in-southern-iranThe U.S. has significantly stepped up spying operations on Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor over the past two months, American officials said, driven by heightened concerns about the security of weapons-grade plutonium after Tehran unexpectedly discharged fuel rods from the facility in October, just two months after it became fully operational. Under an agreement with Russia, all spent fuel is to be returned to Russia and stored.

So the International Atomic Energy Agency was surprised on Oct. 15 when Iran said it was discharging all of the nuclear fuel from Bushehr and storing it in a cooling pond at the site. Independent nuclear experts estimate that this discharged fuel was made up of between 22 and 220 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium, enough to produce as many as 24 nuclear bombs, if reprocessed further.

{Andy Heller-Matzav.com Newscenter}