'Iran's Fordow nuclear bunker not impregnable'

'Washington Post' quotes US officials as saying repeated attacks by US bunker busting weapons could deem facility unusable.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
February 29, 2012 23:56
1 minute read.
Suspected uranium-enrichment facility near Qom

Iranian nuclear program 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Iran's nuclear facility built into a mountain bunker at Fordow is not "impregnable" to US bunker buster munitions, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing the testimony of US military planners.

The Post quoted US officials as saying that while a single blow by the Pentagon's newest bunker buster weapon - the Massive Ordance Penetrator, may not successfully destroy the underground uranium enrichment facility, a sustained attack over a number of days would likely render the plant unusable.

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US military planners see the "zone of immunity," which Defense Minister Ehud Barak spoke of as the point after which an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would be impossible, as still being years away, according to the report.

An IAEA report released last week showed Iran had increased work at Fordow and carried out a significant expansion of activities at its main enrichment plant near the central city of Natanz.

At Fordow, almost 700 centrifuges are now refining uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent and preparations are under way to install many more, the IAEA report showed.

The Fordow facility near the city of Qom is estimated to be buried beneath 80 meters of rock and soil.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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