TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran has successfully enriched uranium for the first time, a landmark in its quest to develop nuclear fuel, hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday, although he insisted his country does not aim to develop atomic weapons.Let's briefly examine the reasons for enriching uranium (a very costly, dangerous, and intensive procedure):
1. Building reactors of smaller size. A reactor fueled with natural uranium is typically by necessity very large - several stories tall, wide and deep - too large for practical use as a powerplant on say, a ship or submarine. Enriching the fuel, that is increasing the proportion of U-235 to U-238 (from a natural 1 to 140) allows less uranium to be used in obtaining a criticality (self-sustaining chain reaction). It is reasonable to believe this one actual goal of the Iranian government.
2. Building weapons based upon the fission of uranium.
### BREAKING - To be continued... ###