Middle East | Escalating tensions with Iran have roots in new data on its nuclear capacity showing the regime could develop a ‘fully functional’ nuclear missile in under a year
by Mindy Belz
Posted 7/03/19, 12:18 am
This story begins inside the atom.
Specifically, the uranium atom. In deposits of uranium ore beneath the earth’s surface, the most abundant form of the element is uranium-238. Mostly inert, it contains three more neutrons than its unstable, more radioactive cousin, uranium-235, found in only small amounts.
Separating the two involves a tedious physical process. But by isolating the slightly lighter U-235 then concentrating it into a critical mass, a self-sustaining fission chain reaction is created. With this discovery, atomic energy was born.