November 1st 2003

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: France and Italy address fertility crisis

EDITORIAL: Bushfires: why the nightmare will be repeated

CANBERRA OBSERVED : Reforming the Senate?

MEDIA: Packer's media-gambling alliance

HEALTH: Abortion-Breast Cancer cover-up continues

FAMILY: Preserving marriage in Australia

AGRICULTURE: Mandate ethanol or sugar industry faces collapse

LETTERS: Time for farmers to wake up (letter)

LETTERS: New TV code of practice (letter)

LETTERS: Special needs, special treasures (letter)

LETTERS: New use for sugar cane trash (letter)

LETTERS: Nuclear menace (letter)

HEALTH WATCH: The 'morning after' pill: coming soon to a school near you?

WATER: Federals distance themselves from 'The Living Murray'

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Jim Cairns remembered

COMMENT: SBS programming questioned by Vietnamese community

ASIA: Siberia - China's 'great game' to reshape Asian region

COMMENT: Don't forget the threat from North Korea

Hong Kong: next elections a test for Beijing

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Nuclear menace (letter)

by G.A. McNamara

News Weekly, November 1, 2003

In the matter of nuclear arms control, while North Korea is an obvious menace, Iran's existing and proposed nuclear facilities point to an intention to possess nuclear weapons.

One of the most compelling indications is the current construction of a heavy water production plant at Arak and a uranium enrichment complex at Natanz.

Heavy water as a moderator in a power reactor allows the use of natural uranium fuel.

If power generation is the sole objective, one plant makes the other redundant.

Enrichment can provide fuel with 5 per cent uranium-235 for power generation or 50% for nuclear explosives. Low-enriched uranium is already available from Russia.

In addition, the heavy water reactor allows the early removal, without shutdown of fuel elements for the extraction of uncontaminated plutonium.

Since there is no evident intention to build a fast breeder power reactor, Iran must intend to have a choice of nuclear explosives.

G.A. McNamara
Ulverstone, Tas

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