Two Iranian detonator-development sites, instrumental in the production cycle of weaponized plutonium, have been located, Reuters reported Sept. 24, citing the National Council of Resistance of Iran. A command and research center has been located in eastern Tehran; a site in the village of Sanjarian manufactures components for the systems. The council said it gathered the information — which was given to the International Atomic Energy Agency — from dozens of sources; it could not be independently verified.
While making detonators for enriched uranium weapons is relatively simple, to make a plutonium weapon requires extremely sophisticated, sculpted explosives. Imagine manipulating a robot many miles away by remote control, and having that robot sculpt precise shaped charges of high powered explosives to be placed around the perimeter of a large sphere of plutonium, cut up somewhat like those wonderful orange-chocolate baseball sized treats available now and again.
A shaped charge has to be placed on the outside of each ‘slice’ so that they can be forced to impact each other in a precise way to cause the high powered nuclear detonation.
There is simply no hiding what such a facility is for. This news will likely not get the attention it deserves. But to be clear, this will be the first unimpeachable evidence of a nuclear weapons program. There is no other potential use for this procedure. The making of extremely precise shaped charges in this exact manner.
For anyone interested in more information about this process, Please click here for what is the best information I have yet seen on the issue of the making of nuclear weapons from Caltech, the place they were first developed.