(IRANIAN UNIVERSITIES AND THE REGIME’S NUCLEAR WEAPONIZATION ACTIVITIES – WARREN MARSHALL – January 2015) – Among the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program mentioned by the IAEA in its November 2011 report is Iran’s procurement of high-speed electronic switches and spark gaps that can be used for triggering and firing detonators.
In an implosion nuclear weapon, a switch transfers the stored electrical energy from a capacitor intothe firing circuits, which in turn initiate the multiple detonators that create the symmetrical implosion wave.
An Iranian company known as Pulse Niru sells spark gap, rail gap, and multi-gap switches, trigger circuits, and pulse capacitors. At least several models of these switches and capacitors appear to exceed NSG and MCTL guidelines for use in a nuclear firing set.
Figures 4 and 5 show examples of a spark gap switch and pulse capacitors listed on the company’s website. Pulse Niru also displays a “picosecond pulse generator” that could be used to calibrate cables for hydrodynamic testing with a simulated nuclear core (see Figure 6).
The firm’s CEO, Mohammad Mahdi Attaran, received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Malek Ashtar University, which as previously mentioned has been heavily linked to Iran’s possible nuclear weapons research.
Iranian researchers have also published computational and experimental studies on compact, high-speed, and high-voltage electrical generators that are similar to those used in nuclear weapons.
Several of these studies, including one by Pulse Niru’s CEO, involve vaporization of metal wires under high current in a process comparable to EBW detonation.
The résumé of another scientist involved in this type of research, Jouya Jadidian, in dicates that he was exempted from compulsory military service as a member of Iran’s Armed Forces National Elite Foundation in 2009.
Under this plan, Iranian university students can be excused from mandatory conscription and compensated in exchange for conducting research of use to the armed forces, including for classified projects. SPND is listed as among the centers eligible for student assignment under this arrangement.
Source » criticalthreats