Iran’s nuclear program and drones at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant

In a recent report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it was revealed that Iran has increased its stockpile of enriched uranium and continues to prevent inspectors from monitoring its nuclear program. The current estimate of Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile is 5,525.5 kg, which is over a ton more than the previous quarterly report from November 2023. It’s important to note that 42 kg of uranium enriched to 60% is the amount at which it is theoretically possible to create one nuclear weapon, according to the IAEA definition.

In Texas, a nuclear facility called Pantex, which is the primary location for the assembly, dismantling, modernization, and life extension of nuclear weapons in the United States, briefly shut down due to a series of fires in the area. While staff at the facility were safely evacuated, the fires have burned over 154,000 hectares of land. Fortunately, there was no damage to the facility itself, and all weapons and sensitive materials were safe and intact.

Researchers recently launched four small drones weighing 185 grams each into one of the damaged reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to examine the condition of melted nuclear fuel in areas that were difficult to access. Previous attempts to explore the area with a crawling robot and an underwater vehicle were stopped by debris and high radiation levels. Approximately 880 tons of highly radioactive molten nuclear fuel remain in the three damaged reactors at Fukushima. The removal process is scheduled to take place within the next 30-40 years.

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