Iran has announced that it is now enriching uranium to 20%. Joe Biden is about to be sworn in as President of the United States. If those two things don’t terrify you, I don’t know what will.
Natural uranium is useless in the construction of an atomic bomb. In order for the uranium to be useable the concentration of the Uranium-235 isotope, a tiny fraction of what is found in uranium ore, must be dramatically increased. The precise level of enrichment necessary is a state secret, but most open sources use figures somewhere between 80 and 90 percent.
A number of techniques can be used to carry out this enrichment. All follow the same trajectory, however. Most of the time it takes to reach the desired enrichment level and create what is known as highly enriched uranium (HEU) is invested upfront. Just getting to 3.5% enrichment eats up 75% of your time. By the time 20% enrichment is reached, you are 90% of the way through the entire process.
In short, once the Iranians have uranium in hand, which has been enriched to the 20% level, they are virtually done. Read More