On 7/30/07, Robt Mann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Yoshie quoth:
> If there's any country for which CNG makes sense, that has to be Iran,
> what with the second largest natural gas reserves it is said to have,
> - fine - and you can add those night-time satellite pix of huge
> Tehran will never be able to convince those who believe that its
> nuclear energy program is not for energy but for nuclear weapons, just
> as Saddam Hussein could never convince that his government no longer
> had WMDs.
> This is not a logical comparison.
> The search for WMDs in Iraq, conducted by hostile parties highly
> motivated to find them, failed; therefore we disbelieve them. No search at
> all is necessary to support the conclusion that Iran has huge available NG,
> as outlined above.
> The only further step needed is the price of nuclear v. NG-fired
> power stations. The former is shrouded in enormous subsidies which cannot
> now be traced fully, but looks to be somewheres around U$10/W or more. The
> fuel is not cheap, especially when it's not in your own country and most
> especially if the type of reactor you choose requires enriched fuel rather
> than natural U. The operations & maintenance costs of nuclear are many
> times those of standard gas-burning power stations. Iran could choose
> tandem-cycle NG-fired stations, 50% efficient, a few $/W and can be built
> within 1-2 y.
> Iran's development of nuclear reactor technology can therefore not
> be for electricity.
Muhammad Sahimi (whose article I posted here but you apparently did
not read) answers the question of why Iran might want to develop a
nuclear energy program despite its oil and gas reserves. The short
answer is that other countries similarly rich in energy resources, for
instance, Russia, which is responsible for the largest amount of
flared gas in the world according to Washington ("Russia Top Offender
in Gas-flare Emissions," 21 June 2007,
also turn to nuclear power plants:
Forced to Fuel
Iran's Nuclear Energy Program
From Energy, Vol. 26 (4) - Winter 2005
Muhammad Sahimi is Professor and Chairman of Chemical Engineering at
the University of Southern California.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The main argument of the critics of Iran's nuclear energy program is
that, due to its vast oil and gas reserves, it does not need NPPs. Yet
Great Britain, Canada, and Russia, all oil exporters, rely on NPPs for
a significant portion of their electricity needs. Russia's gas
reserves represent about a quarter of the world's known reserves, and
Canada exports 1.5 million bpd of oil to the United States every day;
both continue to build NPPs. Between 1974, when Iran signed its first
agreement for building NPPs, and 2000, use of NPPs for generating
electricity in the world has increased by a factor of 12. Figure
"Nuclear Inclination" shows Iran's current sources of electricity
production and discusses the trade-off that it has in energy
generation, consumption, and exports. By 2021, 10 percent of Iran's
electricity is to be supplied by NPPs, 20 percent by hydroelectric, 5
percent by other sources, and the remaining 60 percent by natural gas,
hence eliminating Iran's reliance on oil for generating electricity,
generating significant additional income by exporting the oil and
preventing environmental pollution. Currently, 19 percent of the
world's electricity is generated by NPPs, with their share reaching 27
percent by 2021.
> The 'wind map' propaganda was evidently written by some PR agents -
> as evidenced by their
> "a price range of 450 to 650 rials per kw/h."
Iran's economy is very statist, with little left to the free market,
so at this stage of development of renewable energy, it's hard to say
what they mean by the "price range" from just one article.
> I must correct Yoshie's assertion
> In any case, Iran, imho, is less warlike than New Zealand, which
> joined the USA's Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
> The first accusation is false. We refused to join the Bush/Blair
> 'coalition' in Iraq. We have a few score personnel there, rebuilding water
> supplies, schools etc. They are army engineers, for good reason, but are in
> districts where combat is not expected. Their classification would be
> 'peacekeepers'. I just wish the peace were more solid!
> The picture for NZers in Afghanistan is similar. But we also have
> there, as complained of recently by a visiting anti-Blair Labour UK MP, the
> mysterious SAS of vague numbers, position & function - our elite army unit,
> there presumably on the principle 'the riot squad are restless, they need
> somewhere to go' - and there are some pretty nasty gangsters in that
> country whom even Yoshie might not want to support. Just because the Yank
> armed forces are there in a big way (and botched the capturing of Usama bin
> Laden) doesn't mean other countries' forces have no valid role there.
> True, us Kiwi peace movement activists have decades ago called our
> nation "the Gurkhas of the S. Pac." for our former willingness to join damn
> near any war. That period is well & truly gone; for a decade now we've had
> a policy of undeclared pacifism, crippling the armed forces on the unstated
> assumption that we could never again get in any war.
I'm not sure if any enduring change for the better has been made in
Afghanistan, whose situation, too, has deteriorated, especially in the
South. IMHO, foreigners can't build a nation and a state where local
people have not built them themselves.