The role of uranium enrichment in nuclear proliferation and potential implications for Iran's nuclear program
Katukhov, Alexey V.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis assesses the uranium enrichment route and the plutonium production route for fissile material acquisition. The method to perform the analysis is a direct comparison of the uranium enrichment route and the plutonium production route across three dimensions: general factors, technology, and probability of detection using modern intelligence collection means. Three conclusions are derived from the analysis. First conclusion states that using uranium enrichment to produce fissile material requires less time, fewer steps, and is less expensive than using plutonium production to produce fissile material. Second conclusion indicates that technology availability and complexity have been the main barriers for states to acquire significant quantities of fissile material. Third conclusion identifies that the uranium enrichment route is less detectable than the plutonium production route by modern intelligence collection means. The conclusions derived from the analysis imply that if a state were to choose between uranium enrichment and plutonium production for fissile material acquisition today, it will likely choose the uranium enrichment because the technology has the same availability, but the route itself is shorter, cheaper, and less detectable by modern intelligence collection means. Policy recommendations are developed to ensure that in the light of the anticipated nuclear renaissance the proliferation of nuclear weapons using the uranium enrichment route are addressed properly.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Proliferation Dangers Associated With Nuclear Medicine: Getting Weapons-Grade Uranium Out of Radiopharmaceutical Production Williams, Bill; Ruff, Tilman A. (2007-10)
Starr, Chauncey (1984-06-01)
Rethinking the Offer: The Impact on Nuclear Non-Proliferation of Providing North Korea or Iran with Light Water Reactors Lee, Eun Joo (Georgetown University, 2009)This paper examines the impact on nuclear non-proliferation efforts of providing the DPRK and Iran with light water reactors (LWRs). I argue that LWRs in the hands of the DPRK and Iran will substantially increase nuclear ...