Thursday, December 31, 2009

Uranium, Kazakhstan, and Fiction


My novel, The Lion and the Sun, starts with a prologue that describes how my protagonist, Daniel Conte, undertakes a mission to Ost-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan, in the spring of 1993 to corroborate reports that the Ulb Metallugical Plant there has over 600 kilos of highly enriched uranium (HEU) stored in an essentially unsecured warehouse. The episode is based on fact. The actual mission to recover the HEU was code named "Project Sapphire," and was completed in November of 1994.
Fast forward. Iran now appears poised to import Kazak uranium ostensibly for use in its "peaceful" nuclear energy program. US officials have said repeatedly than Iran is developing the capability to create nuclear weapons. What is Iran's real purpose, building nuclear power plants, or building nuclear armed missiles? Read The Lion and the Sun, and you come away with a pretty good idea of what the answer is, but is it fact or fiction?

2 comments:

Anandi said...

Uh oh. Seems terribly interesting if limited to fiction. But if it has even a shred of credibility in real life (which unfortunately it does) USA will have to go bust yet another country while the rest of the world looks on in glee/dismay.
But wait, I still seem to be in the Bush administration state of mind. What will Obama do?

Richard Badalamente said...

There are several options, but diplomatic initiatives backed by potential sanctions will continue to be the path of choice for 2010.