Sunday, March 13, 2005

Pakistan to send centrifuge parts to IAEA for testing: diplomat

13 March 2005

Pakistan will send centrifuge parts to the UN nuclear watchdog to help determine whether uranium contamination found in Iran came from imported equipment, as Iran claims, a Western diplomat said here.

"The centrifuge parts will be sent to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) laboratory in Seibersdorf," near Vienna, he said.

The IAEA is investigating contamination by microscopic particles of highly enriched uranium (HEU) found at the Kalaye workshop in Tehran.
HEU can be fuel for civilian nuclear reactors but also can be used to make nuclear weapons.

The diplomat said that the centrifuge parts should come from the same set of centrifuges that were used at Kalaye, "otherwise it wouldn't serve any purpose."

IAEA technicians at Seibersfdorf will be checking for HEU contamination and to see whether the "signature" or isotope configuration of the contamination at Kahle matches that of the parts from Pakistan.

A diplomat close to the IAEA told AFP that they were looking at HEU contamination at several
sites in Iran besides Kahle.

The diplomat said he would be "happy when the parts actually arrive," adding that the investigation was a very delicate matter.

Britain, France and Germany, on behalf of the European Union, have been trying to persuade Tehran to permanently abandon its capacity to produce HEU in return for a package of incentives.

The diplomatic effort is aimed at securing "objective guarantees" that Iran will not produce nuclear weapons.

The United States charges that Iran has a clandestine nuclear weapons program and wants the IAEA to bring Tehran before the UN Security Council for possible sanctions.

But IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei says that while Iran hid sensitive nuclear activity for almost two decades, "the jury is still out" on whether Tehran is trying to develop atomic weapons.
Copyright C. 2002 - 2004
Pakistan Science and Engineering Forum (R)
"Kindling the Flame of Science in Pakistan (TM)"
PakSEF (TM) Daily Science News Update

No comments: