A.P. Panic Alert! Iran makes Breakthru In Crappy Graphic Design!

I’ve been meaning to write a post about the oh-so-scary graph leaked to perennial shill George Jahn of the Associated Press by:

 officials from a country critical of Iran’s atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran’s nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon.  The officials provided the diagram only on condition that they and their country not be named.

I mean, seriously, granting anonymity to a whole fricking country and under such transparently pathetic conditions?  Jahn would have been as well continuing that second sentence “but the name starts with ‘Is’ and ends in ‘rael'”.

But I see actual nuclear scientists Prof. Yousaf Butt and Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress PhD did a better job than I ever could.

The graphic has not yet been authenticated; however, even if authentic, it would not qualify as proof of a nuclear weapons program. Besides the issue of authenticity, the diagram features quite a massive error, which is unlikely to have been made by research scientists working at a national level.

The image released to the Associated Press shows two curves: one that plots the energy versus time, and another that plots the power output versus time, presumably from a fission device. But these two curves do not correspond: If the energy curve is correct, then the peak power should be much lower — around 300 million ( 3×108) kt per second, instead of the currently stated 17 trillion (1.7 x1013) kt per second. As is, the diagram features a nearly million-fold error.

This diagram does nothing more than indicate either slipshod analysis or an amateurish hoax.

In any case, the level of scientific sophistication needed to produce such a graph corresponds to that typically found in graduate- or advanced undergraduate-level nuclear physics courses.

They go on at some length as they continue to explain just how weak and quivering this oh-so-scary story actually is. Awesome.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Thanks for the nice de-bunking, Steve. I thought this article fairly reeked of BS when I read it in the local newspaper. The way the press release breathlessly announces that the potential explosive power is two to three times that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima! Big whoop. That is a beer fart by modern standards. The dishonesty and lack of ingenuity of these bonehead warmongers never fails to astound me!

  • This is the 2012 equivalent of the famous trailers in Iraq that proved they have WMD.

    The story line is so over-hashed.

    This is worse than grade B sci-fi fare.

    The only thing left is to see who is going to come out and say “we can’t afford to let the proof be a mushroom cloud”. Hillary, perhaps?

    Then America invades Iran (at the behest of Israel of course). We’ll see what the Hopey McChangers have to say about it then.

    I should buy stock in Xe, perhaps?

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