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Foreign diplomats: Iranian nuclear plant at Busher damaged by earthquakes

By Missing Peace

And other disturbing news concerning Iran’s nuclear program

Iran's heavy water plant at ArakIran’s heavy water plant at Arak

The Israeli news site YNET today published an AP report that confirms that the Iranian nuclear reactor in Busher was indeed damaged by earth quakes that hit Iran in the past few months.

At the time we reported that the nuclear plant in Busher could be damaged as a result of these quakes. The  Busher reactor was not built according to guidelines of the Convention of Nuclear Safety, that was negotiated after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

AP now reports:

‘Diplomats say countries monitoring Iran’s nuclear program have picked up information that the country’s only power-producing nuclear reactor was damaged by one or more recent earthquakes.

Two diplomats say long cracks have appeared in at least one section of the structure.

 They demanded anonymity Tuesday because they are not authorized to divulge confidential information’.

More disturbing news

Other disturbing news about Iran’s nuclear program came from The Israel Project (TIP) today.

The organization published a report about the progress Iran has made in the last few months. The report was based on a Reuters article and information of the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA as well as a New York Times report.

According to TIP  Iran may soon bring on line its heavy water research plant at Arak. This is a critical step  in establishing a second pathway for producing weapons-grade nuclear material.

Iran has thus far constructed facilities aimed at enriching uranium. The Arak facility will produce nuclear material necessary to pursue a plutonium-based nuclear bomb, of the type that North Korea has used.

The plant at Arak was explicitly cited Monday by the director-general of the U.N. nuclear watchdog as an area of concern for the agency. Yukiya Amano also slammed Tehran for failing to “provid[e] the necessary cooperation to enable us to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities.

The New York Times reported that Iran will follow what has become “an emerging production strategy” in building nuclear infrastructure. The Iranians have used multiple tracks and facilities to edge toward the acquisition of nuclear weapons: the technical capability to enrich weapons-grade material, build a nuclear warhead, and mount it on a delivery system.

Israeli Strategic Affairs and Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Arak was “definitely a concern” but Iran’s uranium enrichment track was still a “far more pressing” issue.

Steinitz was referring to the latest IAEA report that stated that Iran had made progress across the board in its nuclear program, enriching more uranium and installing hundreds of next-generation centrifuges that could speed enrichment.

Israeli military officials now think that there are only a few months left before Iran crosses the red line that could incite military action.