Haretz:“The nuclear reactor at Arak is scheduled to become active, according to the Iranian reports to IAEA in early 2014 and is claimed by Tehran to be for civilian purposes. The use of heavy water in a nuclear reactor would enable Iran to produce the isotope Plutonium-239 which is the main fissile component of most nuclear bombs in existence around the world.”
see Iran pursuing nuclear bomb through plutonium production, new satellite images reveal – Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper.
Give us a break from the propaganda, please. Canada uses heavy water in its nuclear reactors. Are you going to bomb us too?
Heavy water is just water containing hydrogen in the form of a heavier isotope, deuterium, which contains an extra neutron. It is a great moderator for fast neutrons from nuclear fission because of the high probability of a hard collision when a neutron zips through the molecule. In the collision, the energy of the fast neutron is shared well with the deuterium thus slowing the fast neutron so it’s more effective at triggering further collisions in the chain reaction. So, heavy water is not about producing plutonium but about facilitating nuclear chain reactions in fission. Deuterium is also useful in nuclear physics experiments and producing fluxes of really slow neutrons for all kinds of purposes. Plutonium is a by-product of any uranium fisssion reactor where U238 is present. In fact, enriching uranium implies reducing the concentration of U238 in favour of U235 actually reducing the production of plutonium. So, Haretz is just spreading more FUD when it suggests readers should be worried about heavy water.
Heavy hydrogen is naturally occurring and concentration may be increased by many physical and chemical processes including evaporation/distillation and electrolysis. It’s ancient technology from the 1930s.