The linkage does not help the commercial nuclear industry. Nuclear weapons discussion is to the nuclear industry what saying 'bomb' in a security line is to the airline industry. So Iran linking its nuclear weapons program to their commercial nuclear power plant is anathema to global expansion of the commercial nuclear industry.
|Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant|
Regardless of world opinion, Iran is preparing to speed up its production of enriched uranium. The apparent progress has prompted some experts to redraw their forecasts for how quickly the country could build an atomic arsenal if it chose to do so.
Iran quietly notified U.N. inspectors in January that it was moving forward with plans to phase in hundreds of sophisticated centrifuges — models dubbed IR-2M and IR-4 — at its main enrichment plant in the city of Natanz.
Fereydoun Abbasi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, has announced that Iran’s first commercial nuclear reactor, at Bushehr, will begin operating as soon as May 5 after technicians overcome problems with the reactor’s fuel. He disclosed the start of a new production line for uranium oxide, the material from which nuclear fuel rods are made.
Iran, which began enriching uranium on an industrial scale in 2007, is now thought to possess enough low-enriched fuel to make at least two bombs if the material were processed further. The country has consistently maintained that it does not intend to make nuclear weapons. (Wash Post, 4/11/2011)