The latest report is that Irtan is now running a heavy water plant.
According to the Institute for Science and International Security, a US think tank, if the heavy-water plant reaches full capacity, it would produce about 20lb of plutonium a year.
No, just no.
A heavy water plant produces heavy water. This can then be used in a particular type of reactor. One that uses natural uranium rather than enriched. And the wastes from that particular type of reactor then contain rather more plutonium and tritium than is usual from other types of reactor. And then you’ve got to extract the plutonium from those wastes.
The country still lacks the technology to reprocess plutonium and use it for a weapon.
That heavy water plant does not produce plutonium at all.
It is one of the steps along they way to being able to produce it, yes. But it’s also one of the steps along the way to a possible civilian nuclear programme too.
My personal view is that yes, of course they’re trying to make a bomb or three. But I do wish the technical details of the reporting about it were better.