Iranian scientists have run simulations on a nuclear bomb three times as powerful as the one dropped on Hiroshima by the US during World War II, according to a diagram obtained by The Associated Press.
The diagram of the computer simulations has been leaked by officials from a country that is critical of Iran’s atomic program, reports CBS News. It is meant to bolster their argument that Iran’s nuclear program needs to be stopped.
The International Atomic Energy Agency — a nuclear watchdog — reported in 2011 that it obtained diagrams that indicated Iran is calculating the “nuclear explosive yield” of potential weapons.
A senior diplomat neutral to the issue has confirmed the potential Iran nuclear bomb graph obtained by the AP is the same as the one cited in the IAEA report. The weapon modeled in the document peaks at just above 50 kilotons around two microseconds. This is massive compared to the bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima, which had a force of about 15 kilotons.
Modern nuclear weapons have yields that are hundreds of times higher than the first one. The diagram’s caption reads, “Changes in output and in energy released as a function of time through power pulse.” The number “5” is also attached, suggesting the diagram is part of a series.
David Albright with the Institute for Science and International Security, stated that the diagram appears to be genuine, but he believes it appears more that the graph is designed “to understand the process,” rather than as part of a blueprint for a weapon the country is making.
Albright, whose institution is used by the US government as a go-to source for Iran’s nuclear program, stated, “The yield is too big.” He noted that North Korea’s first nuclear weapons tests were just a few kilotons.
The senior diplomat who leaked the document stated that the diagram was part of a series of computer-generated models made by Iran’s nuclear program. Iran continues to deny it has any interest in building a nuclear bomb.