John, congratulations on the award from CSC, it's always good to be recognized for your efforts.
There are some oddities in the Iranian nuclear program reports that I don't understand, among other things, where are they getting the raw material? If they are burning coal and trapping fly ash, that's one possibility, or processing phosphate rock that's already been concentrated by the processes for removing phosphorus for fertilizer. Both of those are sources that are available in most countries, but require a fair bit of preprocessing to get the uranium out. In the case of fly ash, quite a bit of processing could be done with centrifugal dryers that were set up to skim the heaviest material off as it was dried. Krebs cyclones might be useful for that, if properly adjusted and if the material was wet enough going in for high speed pumping. Does Iran burn coal and exhibit concern about fly ash?
Certainly, any attack on Iran will send oil prices spiraling as Goldman Sachs and their ilk work the commodities markets for profit. I don't believe the SEC has yet cancelled the letters they wrote giving GS and about 20 others permission to speculate in the oil market without restriction, as their large investments make them the equivalent of producers. (Yes, I gagged writing that last.)
I've now done a bit of research on the Iranian possibilities for uranium production inside Iran without using outside sources. Evidence is pretty clear that they can do it and probably are. To start off, they do produce and use coal, and they do trap fly ash in their coal burning plants. http://paguntaka.org/2009/11/21/product ... h-october/
They produce fly ash and sell a "refined better than standard" product.http://www.ecplaza.net/tradeleads/selle ... lower.html
It would be very interesting to have an analysis of the uranium in that fly ash they are selling. Typical fly ash has a percentage of uranium of about 100ppm up.
They also produce phosphates and given their watchfulness about Israel, I'd wager they are also attempting the same processes Israel is using on the phosphates from Negev.http://www.bizearch.com/company/Iran_Ph ... 352516.htmhttp://www.wisconsinproject.org/countri ... anium.html
And that's the explanation for the "mystery" uranium processing plant that popped up late last year, and nobody knew where the uranium was going to come from. It was to be local uranium, concentrated from fly ash or phosphate rocks.
None of the above constitutes proof of anything except potential, of course, but given the existence of uranium processing facilities much larger than any known supply of uranium, it's fairly evident they have at least considered the production of uranium from non traditional sources.