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Iran Opens Its First Nuclear Power Plant 496

Posted by Soulskill
from the let-the-good-times-roll dept.
pickens writes "VOA reports that Russian and Iranian engineers have begun loading fuel into Iran's first nuclear power plant located in the southern city of Bushehr amid international fears that Iran will use the facility to make nuclear weapons, a charge both Tehran and the Kremlin vehemently deny. Officials say it will take about two to three months for the plant to start producing electricity once all of the fuel rods have been moved into the reactor. The production capacity of the plant will initially be 500 megawatts, but will eventually increase to 1,000 megawatts. Earlier this year, Washington criticized Russia for going ahead with the planned opening of the plant amid global disagreement and concern over Iran's alleged nuclear weapons program. Moscow did, however, back a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran, which called for Iran to stop uranium enrichment."
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Iran Opens Its First Nuclear Power Plant

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  • by omar.sahal (687649) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:18AM (#33330968) Homepage Journal
    What has Iran ever done to us
    • Offhand, there was that whole thing with the hostages in the embassy back in the 80s. That's all I got.

      • by hoshino (790390) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:43AM (#33331064) Homepage

        An embassy which was run basically as a CIA safe house plotting to sabotage the Iranian government. Citation: Legacy of Ashes [amazon.com]

        • by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:49AM (#33331090)
          Also, there was the removal of a Democratic Iranian Government by the US to install the Shah.

          Right now, we're just dealing with karma of past actions by our government.

          If we kept our noses out of others business, the World would probably be a much different place and there would be less hatred towards us.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:11AM (#33331216)

            "Right now, we're just dealing with karma of past actions by our government.

            If we kept our noses out of others business, the World would probably be a much different place and there would be less hatred towards us."

            It's sad that so few Americans understand this.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              "Right now, we're just dealing with karma of past actions by our government.

              If we kept our noses out of others business, the World would probably be a much different place and there would be less hatred towards us."

              It's sad that so few Americans understand this.

              Yes, the world would be different. It is a pity that you've lost the context of why these interventions occurred. It is no secret that the Soviet Union was actively destabilizing and/or annexing nearby countries. This started under Stalin before the US even tried to intervene or push back. The US policy in Iran, Cuba, and other places was hamfisted, there is no doubt. But the strategy was containment and it worked. While the Soviet Union continued to destabilize countries until its dissolution, the rate of

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by FriendlyLurker (50431)

                Yes, the world would be different. It is a pity that you've lost the context of why these interventions occurred.

                Let me remind you of "context" in one word: Oil. Using the "we have to 'contain' the soviet world takover bid" marketing line to sell the move under the fear label - no different to the WMD "context" used to invade Iraq, again, for oil.

                Here is more context [historycommons.org] than you can poke a stick at.. how about you start by looking up the "context" around British Petroleum's role in the US-Iran conforntation.

              • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:53AM (#33331746)
                It amazes me how many U.S. citizens are ignorant of the violent, corrupt activities of the U.S. government. The violence is always for the profit of a few.

                In the case of the U.S. government overthrowing the democratically elected Premier of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddeq, the CIA was allowed to act in secret: [gwu.edu] "The CIA, with help from British intelligence, planned, funded and implemented the operation." The purpose was to insure huge profits for British Petroleum (Yes, that BP) [wikipedia.org], and U.S. oil companies.

                Quote from the Wikipedia article: "Overnight, the CIA became a central part of the American foreign policy apparatus, and covert action came to be regarded as a cheap and effective way to shape the course of world events"--a coup engineered by the CIA called Operation PBSUCCESS toppling the duly elected Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, which had nationalised farm land owned by the United Fruit Company, followed the next year."

                Military action so that U.S. investors can make more money has ever since been a central policy of the U.S. government. The families and friends of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had oil and weapons investments, so the U.S. military was used to get control of the oil in Iraq. That violence has made U.S. citizens much poorer, through taxes and inflation.
              • Revisionist much?! (Score:5, Insightful)

                by linumax (910946) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:28AM (#33331972)
                If it was containment of Soviet expansion, why the hell did it start right after Mosaddeq nationalized Iranian Oil?
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by schwit1 (797399)
            "If we kept our noses out of others business, the World would probably be a much different place and there would be less hatred towards us." And a lot more people would be speaking Japanese or German or Russian.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Rude Turnip (49495)

              Bullshit. Defending yourself is a completely different scenario.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Messing with Iran was in response to Soviet expansionism.
              • by couchslug (175151) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:35AM (#33332006)

                "Bullshit. Defending yourself is a completely different scenario."

                Better take a closer look at why we went to war.

                US intervention by petroleum and scrap iron embargo in behalf of the Kuomintang (our public, especially missionaries, were Sinophiles at the time) forced the Japs to choose between fight or caving in. The attack at Pearl was "provoked" by the standards of the time, but failure to get the declaration of war delivered in time backfired on Hirohito. The US had been helping kill Japanese (Flying Tigers ring a bell? Great unit, but it bears reminding that they were mercs!) in substantial numbers well before December 7th.

                The US was shipping war materiel to England and taking part as a belligerent. We were killing front-line German naval personnel while shipping ordnance and food to their opponents.

                Don't get me wrong, I'm fine with all that. It's Big Boy politics, not effeminate hand-wringing. that gets shit done. I do take exception to pretending the truth never happened. If we can get comfortable with truth, we can act without Politically Correct pretense.

                As to Russia, the US tried to overthrow the Bolsheviks and established itself as a threat to them at the start of their revolution.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entente_intervention_in_the_Russian_Civil_War [wikipedia.org]

            • by Nicolas MONNET (4727) <nicoaltiva@gmaiCOLAl.com minus caffeine> on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:44AM (#33331700) Journal

              you'd be speaking proper English. blimey.

            • by Vahokif (1292866) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:47PM (#33332902)
              I'm from Hungary. We spoke Russian for 50 years anyway. Thanks America.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Im guessing the fact that the US (and the UK) had kept a brutal dictator in power in Iran for several decades prior to that, plus the fact that the US were punishing Iranians for overthrowing said dictator (freezing Iranian assets in the US) had nothing to do with the hostage crisis...
        • by mpe (36238)
          Im guessing the fact that the US (and the UK) had kept a brutal dictator in power in Iran for several decades prior to that,

          As well as having put him in power in the first place. Iran being one of several countries where the US destroyed democratic governments in the latter half of the 20th century.

          plus the fact that the US were punishing Iranians for overthrowing said dictator (freezing Iranian assets in the US) had nothing to do with the hostage crisis...

          There's also the issue of how many of the peo
      • by siwelwerd (869956) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:07AM (#33331192)
        That may have had just a little bit to do with us overthrowing their democratically elected government and installing a dictator of our choosing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mrops (927562)

          I am honestly hoping
          A) Iran is not as stupid as I hear in the media, however they keep their scary/crazy image.
          B) Iran gets nukes in the next few years

          A & B is the only way I see Israel sticking to UN resolution, stop their illegal settlements, stop their abuse and even the end of Hamas.

          Israel is not going to comply to UN demands with slap on the wrist it gets. It needs a regional power willing to fight for the other side instead of sticks and stones vs multimillion dollar weaponry.

          Having said that, I s

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by h4rm0ny (722443)

            Iran is not the crazy state that you hear about in the media. You can pretty much discount much of the mainstream media for actual assessments. For better analysis you want to read the financial news or paid risk analysis groups like Stratfor [stratfor.com] whose customers aren't after entertainment but actual assessments for their business and therefore have a critical incentive to deliver accurate information.

            Doesn't mean we wont see military action however. Israel has a tactical advantage in being thought willing to
    • by bsDaemon (87307) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:29AM (#33331006)

      They, along with Syria, are (allegedly) a major source of funding and weapons for Hezballah. So Israel cares, which makes the US Government care. But I really don't give a shit. If they're powering their country with nukes, then they can burn less oil, which means more can be available on the market. It's simple Scarface economics -- "don't get high off your own supply."

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by omar.sahal (687649)

        They, along with Syria, are (allegedly) a major source of funding and weapons for Hezballah

        According to Noam Chomsky Israel was also a supporter of a similar group called Hamas in its early days. This was to combat fatah. What's going on here is the polity don't really care about who they support as long as it furthers their aims.
        Our polity views conflict as an opportunity to be exploited. An example would be Turkey, in 1996 there was an assault on Kurdish communities in the south. 30000 villages were bom

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I can't understand why people mention that Israel supported Hamas as if it's an excuse for Iran's behaviour today. Talk about a logical fallacy...

          Yes, Israel supported Hamas - very briefly, during Hamas's founding, as a more moderate alternative to Fatah, who back then were commiting suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks like Hamas has done in recent years. In short, Israel - again, very briefly - supported Hamas due to not having a crystal ball and seeing their true aims - call it stupidity, even.

          Bu

      • by mrops (927562)

        Since this is the land of the free, here are my 2 cents

        Robin Hood is good, Hezbollah is bad. Masses are so lame, they believe what they are fed. There is no room for rebels rising against a corrupt power anymore.

        Hamas and Hezbollah are nothing more than modern day Robin Hood.

      • It's simple Scarface economics...

        That's appropriate for today's announcement of Iran's new bombing drones.
        Ahmadinejad: Say hello to my little friend...

    • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:39AM (#33331048) Journal
      Well they arrested some US soldiers that were bouncing around in their coastal waters and then, er, gave them back a few days later after questioning.

      Okay, seriously? They've not done anything much, it's that they exist. First off, they're too big to easily threaten and they also have means of responding - for example, they could seal the Strait of Hormuz which would majorly fuck up the US's oil supplies. Secondly, unless Russia helps out, you can't impose serious sanctions on them. End result: A country that doesn't have to do what you tell it to. And that's a big problem when you want to dominate the area. For example, Iran is primarily Shiite. So is a large proportion of the population of Iraq which is next door. Therefore it is natural for the nation of Iraq to form close ties with Iran. For another example, Israel has a policy of being the baddest bastards in their region and being able to threaten everyone else as their security policy. Again, Iran is large, powerful and getting better equipped every day. If Russia ever agrees to sell them modern air-defence weapons, then Israel's ability to bomb the fuck out of the country is severely diminished. If they ever get a nuclear weapon, then Israel will have to treat them as a military equal.

      Basically, Iran is a "big kid". And that's a problem for the other "big kid" in the playground which is the US-Israelli bloc. The latter want to dominate the area, but so long as there's someone who isn't easy to push around, then the littler kids have someone they can maybe hide behind or try to become friends with. The US and Israel want themselves to be the only game in town. Iran, unless it can be kept down, means that there's another.
      • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:04AM (#33331184) Homepage

        For example, Iran is primarily Shiite. So is a large proportion of the population of Iraq which is next door. Therefore it is natural for the nation of Iraq to form close ties with Iran.

        Heh, Iran and Iraq was at war for 8 years in the 1980s including chemical warfare. Saddam was no friend of Iran either, for as long as he was in power. They're both muslims like most of the Middle East but I don't think they're all that close. Ahmadinejad seems like the last with any real military ambition, which is what makes him scary. Oh there's dictatorships other places but they seem mostly content with ruling their own little patch of land. And him alone I wouldn't worry much about either, what I do fear is if he manages to trigger some sort of christian-muslim war instead of just Iraq vs Israel or whatever.

        • by h4rm0ny (722443)

          Heh, Iran and Iraq was at war for 8 years in the 1980s including chemical warfare. Saddam was no friend of Iran either, for as long as he was in power.

          Saddam was no friend of the Iraqi people either. Remember that though the government was secular, there was still a general state of Sunni domination over the Shiite majority (+Kurds). You'd better believe that the Iraqi people today are more inclined to side with Iran than the US. The Sunnis not so much, but the Shiite, yes. I'm not saying the countries are going to merge or anything stupid like that, but Iran is a more natural ally to Iraq (culture, strategic aims, geographical proximity) than the US is

        • by professionalfurryele (877225) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:39AM (#33331346)

          Unfortunately when the Ottoman Empire collapsed the West redrew the map of the Middle East without much attention being paid to ethnic or religious divides. Iraq under the Ba'athist was dominated to an extent by the Sunni minority. The regions bordering Iran are majority Shi'ite. With the fall of Saddam's Ba'athist regime solidarity among Shi'ites complicates matters of security, especially when you consider that during the first Gulf War the allied forces incited a primarily Shi'ite rebellion inside the South of Iraq only to abandon it once Kuwait was liberated.
          The West's past conduct hasn't exactly endeared us to the Shi'ites in the south of Iraq, and Iran is certainly a natural ally after all we screwed them over as well by installing the Shah and generally interfering where we weren't wanted. The whole situation is a messy series of botch-ups by everyone involved.

          • by boxwood (1742976) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:08AM (#33331498)

            Putting the Sunnis in charge of Iraq wasn't an oversight, it was intentional. The Sunni sect is more moderate than the Shia and thus easier for the British to deal with.

            And Iraq is a Arab nation on the Tigris and Euphrates river system. Iran is a Persian nation. If you somehow combined the Shia part of Iraq with Iran, you'd end up with a nation with a Persian majority and an Arab minority.

        • by Xyrus (755017) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:28AM (#33331596) Journal

          Saddam was a puppet for the US. He fought our proxy war against Iran. We supplied him with the weapons to do so. We turned a blind eye to all the atrocities that were committed.

          Iraq has the taint of the US, an Iran has plenty of reasons to not like the US. Those in power might not want to share ties, but the people would probably get along just fine.

      • by mutube (981006)

        For example, Iran is primarily Shiite.

        Come on, they're not that bad

      • by sjbe (173966)

        they could seal the Strait of Hormuz which would majorly fuck up the US's oil supplies

        No it wouldn't. It would screw up PRICES but the US actually gets fairly little oil from the middle east. Only Saudi Arabia is in the top 5 exporters of oil to the US and I suspect they might take issue with Iran screwing up the oil market. Furthermore the US has ample military means of responding to such an overt threat. The US doesn't really want to tangle with Iran but Iran REALLY doesn't want to tangle with the US military.

        Therefore it is natural for the nation of Iraq to form close ties with Iran.

        Except they fought a long a bloody war and hate each other. Otherwise you mig

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Dunbal (464142) *

      What has Iran ever done to us

            Read some history.

            While US foreign policy is far from perfect, Iran certainly has blood on its hands too. Playing innocent won't fool anyone. Let's start with the storming of the US embassy and hostage taking, and go from there, shall we?

      • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:30AM (#33331300) Journal

        What has Iran ever done to us

        Read some history.

        Well that answers what the US has done to Iran, but not so much the other way around. Okay...

        Let's start with the storming of the US embassy and hostage taking, and go from there, shall we?

        Your starting point is the seizing of the US embassy during a revolution when the US had just seized Iranian assets, was supporting the dictator of the country and when there are peristent rumours that the embassy in question was containing rather more than diplomatic staff. Now, as you say, let's go on from there and see what other crimes Iran has perpetuated on the US people. The floor is yours...

      • Let's start with the storming of the US embassy and hostage taking, and go from there, shall we?

        Why start there is it because the past makes Irans acts seem more reasonable. Why can we not look at interactions put them in a time line and see the train of events. This clearly is better than making arbitrary cut off points. Besides are you sure The US would come out the most wronged party even if we accepted your arbitrary cut of date, what was their role in the Iraq Iran war
        It's obvious from my comments ho

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BangaIorean (1848966)
      They keep threatening to wipe an entire country off the map. And that country happens to be an American ally. Moreover, they're ruled by nutjobs and mad mullahs who keep saying things like "South Koreans should be slapped till they become human", "Australians are a bunch of cow herders", and so on. These are official statements from the Iranian regime, remember. The regime is seriously insane and unstable. And yeah - they keep passing sentences to have people stoned to death even today.
      • It's not what Ahmedinejad says that is worrysome. It's what he doesn't say: that the nuclear capabilities of Iran are a direct threat to some Sunni regimes in their environment. The Shia-Sunni angle is too often forgotten, but it is the main motivator for Iran's leaders (which Ahmedinejad is not necessarily).

      • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:29AM (#33331980)
        When it's the US, right-wingers bloviating this kind of stuff are "freem of speech" and heavily armed fruitcakes are "right to bear arms". Our PM suggests that the Pakistan Intelligence Agency is playing with both sides and that's a "gaffe", while US politicians say things every day that can be used to stir up most of the Middle East against them. We're supposed to know that when you write "nutjobs and mad mullahs" that's just free speech, but when they talk about the "Great Satan" that's a present danger.

        I personally think that Iran has a disgusting record on human rights, that it really needs to sort out its misogynistic patriarchy, and that the "Iranian Minister of Justice" is an oxymoron. But a state of the US is about to execute a woman with an IQ of 72 for allegedly plotting to kill her husband, and the chance of being executed for various offences in the US is directly linked to socioeconomic status and skin colour. Am I supposed to draw the same conclusions about the US?

      • by BradMajors (995624) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @01:12PM (#33332612)

        Iran has never threatened to wipe any country off the map. This accusation has already been proven false multiple times.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dkleinsc (563838)

      Their real crime was overthrowing the CIA asset [wikipedia.org] who was running the country on behalf of the US. That and living on top of a substantial oil reserve.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by heffrey (229704)

      A more pertinent question would be to ask what the US did to Iran. And the answer was that the USA killed off Iran's fledgling democracy in 1953 and thus secured a never ending period of hate and distrust.

    • by Nadaka (224565)

      They have supported terrorist organizations in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Israel.

      They have threatened to wipe our ally Israel off the map.

      Their goal is almost the same as the taliban: Uniting the world under islam, imposing harsh sharia law on all people, concentrating all wealth and power in the hands of a few corrupt clerics/imams, and the conversion or extermination of all non believers. The only difference is that the taliban also wants to wipe out all scientific knowledge as well, while Iran is willing to

  • by arcite (661011) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:19AM (#33330976)
    Get nuclear weapons and the USA will not only leave you alone, they will give you AID money by the billions, initiate free trade deals, and otherwise try to be your best friend.

    M.A.D. for a safer world! Today!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kestasjk (933987) *
      The US have said they don't see this nuclear plant as a proliferation risk. We should be for this thing, because if they can get nuclear power and it doesn't help them get nuclear weapons that removes any reason for Ahmedinejad to enrich
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Teancum (67324)

        Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration doesn't see this nuclear plant as a proliferation risk. I would dare say that there are many in America that do see this as a huge potential problem that is only going to cause problems in the future, and there were plenty of people in the "previous administration" that expressed deep concern about this power plant.

        The problem here is that we won't know if this is a problem until after Iran detonates one of their bombs, most likely on Tel Aviv or New York City.

  • Nope (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:21AM (#33330986) Journal

    There are not international concerns over this plant. It requires uranium enriched by 3% (well below the 90% required for weapons grade material) and is operated by the Russians, who are both providing and disposing of the fuel. There are no proliferation concerns over this.

    The concerns are over the other reactor, officially designated for medical research, which requires uranium enriched to 20%, which some see as the first step towards a breeder reactor for providing fuel for nuclear weapons.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kjella (173770)

      It's a plant in Iran also operated by many Iranians. How about for example siphoning off a little material and blame it on reactor inefficiency? 3% enriched uranium isn't exactly a commodity good, if they get a weapons program going they could secretly have a lot more nukes than anyone expects. So risk-free is probably exaggerating.

      • "Reactor inefficiencies" for missing fuel would be kind of a laughable excuse. Every measurement and process has to be monitored in minute detail simply for safety - if the plant is operated by Russians, then it would be impossible to interfere with its operation that heavily without someone noticing oddities.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        I have a suggestion to the US of A: do not start another war in the Middle East.

        AFAIC Iran has every right to possess nuclear weapons, it is a much better deterrent against an invasion than harsh language that Saddam used. If US attacks Iran, it deserves its troops to be nuked, of-course Iran would also be turned into ashes, with ICBMs by US, but maybe Iran having nukes would actually PREVENT a new war by US, not invite it.

        Anybody with any resources today that US is interested in, that does not have nuclea

      • Re:Nope (Score:5, Informative)

        by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:06AM (#33331190)

        Not likely.

        To siphon off some uranium you'll need to disassemble 'hot' fuel rods, chemically separate uranium, and then reassemble rods again. It's unlikely Russians won't notice that a lot of their rods are missing. It's far easier for Iran to use existing uranium enrichment facilities.

        Besides, this reactor is a light-water type. It can never be used to breed plutonium.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by michael_cain (66650)

          Besides, this reactor is a light-water type. It can never be used to breed plutonium.

          Any reactor running on moderately enriched uranium breeds plutonium. In a commercial reactor running on low-enriched uranium, about 40% of the energy produced is from bred plutonium that is "burned" in place. Japan currently has a stockpile of over 43 tons of plutonium, all separated from spent fuel extracted from commercial light-water reactors.

          There are a number of things you could have said instead that would have b

      • by kestasjk (933987) *
        3% enriched uranium isn't much help and it's nothing they don't already have. They need to enrich it much more anyway and they have their own uranium mines..

        Keeping a close eye is fine but going over the top doesn't help anyone; it makes demands to stop the genuinely threatening behavior less credible.
      • by AHuxley (892839)
        "reactor inefficiency" was done by South Africa when they told the world about their nuclear bomb building. They could not account for some material, but over time, it was accepted the books where in order.
        Iran has an old Russian plant, with Russians on site. If you want to have a dual use reactor the only people you want on site is your own or allies with tech help.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      While the plant does use low enrichment uranium, it produces among other things plutonium. And although not a breeder reactor to my knowledge, it still should produce enough plutonium every fuel cycle to make several bombs. Uranium enrichment to produce nuclear weapons is very difficult, plutonium extraction isn't. So all that is left of your argument is the Russian security over the fuel. If we were making this kind of deal with one of our allies would we be preventing them from obtaining nuclear weapons o

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by blind biker (1066130)

      Nobody is concerned about the FUEL for these reactors. Everyone and their dog (well, only the Saudis, generally all the Sunni states, the Europeans, Israel and the USA) worry about the possibility to produce Plutonium 239 from the spent fuel.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:33AM (#33331024)

    I'm not sure if I should be happy that a more sensible energy source is being used, or if I should give into the fearmongering... so... I'll break out into song!

    And Iran...
    Iran's so far away.
    I plus ran.
    They claim they have no gays... [youtube.com]
    I don't know what to say.

  • Let's see (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:41AM (#33331056)

    That's 6849 barrels of oil per day they are going to save (the rough amount required to produce 500MW per day). At $74 a barrel that's about half a million dollars per day. Every day. Oil that they can now export to China and Russia that otherwise would have been burned up in domestic consumption. It doesn't take long before a plant like this pays for itself.

    But oh, mention Iran and nuclear in the same paragraph and all the paranoid uninformed imperialist types appear, yelling "nuclear weapons!". Despite nuclear energy (or any other form of alternative energy) being an extremely sane choice for an oil exporting nation.

  • Remain Calm! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ovanklot (715633) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:45AM (#33331070)

    I mean, we could always trust the Russians to work in our best interests. Also, they were never sneaky about anything. Always truthful and honest, them Russians.

    And Iran only threatened to wipe The West off the map, starting with Israel, with any means at their disposal. And that they could make a nuclear bomb if they wanted to, because it was a right granted to them from Allah.

    Not to mention that they're playing the North Korean game of "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" / "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" with the UN. Remember what North Korea has now after a few years of that? Ah, yes, The Bomb.

    And all this in the hands of a fanatic regime, intent on spreading Islam through force, feared and hated even by most other Islamic nations, all the while being one of the most horrible human-rights violators of our time.

    But there's nothing to fear. They're not after the bomb. They say they are, but there's nothing to worry about. It's just a nuclear power plant.

    REMAIN CALM!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Not to mention that they're playing the North Korean game of "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" / "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" with the UN.

      The UN is Codependent - they get off on it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Fantastic Lad (198284)

      So, basically, what you are saying here is that you are incredibly easy to manipulate with standard media techniques.

      Were you also one of those zombie imbeciles waving a flag as we invaded Iraq?

      Or are you the worst kind of all; the sort who still refuses to acknowledge that we were lied to?

      Did you miss the last 8 years of bullshit? Have you learned nothing about government lies?

      Are you under 18 or just retarded?

      -FL

    • by nloop (665733)
      After hundreds of chemical weapon attacks were levied on them in the 1980s they retaliated by telling an international community who didn't care. They did not respond by attacking civilians or using chemical weapons. What loons.
    • Re:Remain Calm! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by whatajoke (1625715) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @11:07AM (#33331820)

      I mean, we could always trust the Russians to work in our best interests. Also, they were never sneaky about anything. Always truthful and honest, them Russians.

      WTF? What retarded country do you belong to? Russians recently defended a massacre in south Ossetia by a US backed puppet Georgian government.

      And Iran only threatened to wipe The West off the map, starting with Israel, with any means at their disposal. And that they could make a nuclear bomb if they wanted to, because it was a right granted to them from Allah.

      US and UK are directly responsible for sabotaging a democratic coutry's chosen government. They actually wiped out an entire nation's will to govern itself.

      Not to mention that they're playing the North Korean game of "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" / "let's talk" / "we're not talking to you anymore" with the UN. Remember what North Korea has now after a few years of that? Ah, yes, The Bomb.

      Brazil got results out of Iran with no more than a week of negotiation. And then USA still kept rattling the sword over the deal. Yeah, that is exactly like North Korea.

      And all this in the hands of a fanatic regime, intent on spreading Islam through force, feared and hated even by most other Islamic nations, all the while being one of the most horrible human-rights violators of our time.

      China commits far more human rights violations. Guess which one the MSM mentions the most.

      But there's nothing to fear. They're not after the bomb. They say they are, but there's nothing to worry about. It's just a nuclear power plant.

      Fine, please disarm the only country in history of mankind to have used the nuclear bomb on civilian population, and actually considered using it again during the Korean war.

    • REMAIN CALMER (Score:4, Interesting)

      by copponex (13876) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @12:11PM (#33332204) Homepage

      The nation that just invaded two of your neighbors is threatening to invade. But don't try to come up with any sneaky way to defend yourself. Just remain calm while the Freedom Police check you for anything they don't approve of.

      I know if the Russians and Iran invaded Mexico and Canada, we'd just sit quietly and hope for the best. Right?

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:46AM (#33331078) Homepage

    If Israel struck the plant and killed a bunch of Russian engineers, that would be bad. If the strike put a radioactive plum in the air that drifted over part of China or India, that would be worse.

    Not to mention the fact that if the Russians really got cheesed off they could just sell Iran warheads.

    Any country with enough money and enough time is going to be able to acquire nuclear weapons. We might have to face the fact that there may not always be a military solution.

    Canada doesn't have nuclear weapons, they don't feel the need to squander their collective treasure maintaining 12 aircraft carrier groups and they seem to get along just fine. Let some other country pick up some of the tab for being the world's policeman. We need that money here.

    • by h4rm0ny (722443) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:58AM (#33331146) Journal

      Don't disagree with the gist of your argument, but just want to say that the Russians aren't going to sell Iran nuclear warheads. That's too big and gives up Russia's powerful bargaining position in the area. What Russia has threatened to do and which Iran would love, is for Russia to sell them some modern anti-aircraft defence systems. Right now, Israel can credibly threaten to bomb Iran (and has threatened). If Russia follows through and sells them modern systems then Israels ability to threaten is somewhat reduced.
    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Canada doesn't have nuclear weapons,"

      Canada has absolutely no need for combat forces of any type whatsoever. Its situation is unique. It has no important international relationships and is completely protected by the US due to its location.

      Canada's military exists so it can pretend it matters to the United Nations. Not a bad thing, but hardly necessary.

  • Total BS (Score:4, Insightful)

    by helbent (1244274) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @08:55AM (#33331132)
    I always shake my head and ruefully smile when I see these fear-mongering stories about hyped-up fears of &ldquo;An Iranian Nuke in our Future!&rdquo; and similar drivel. The IAEA inspects the program at ever single step of the way and of something is veering off course, everyone in the UN and the US will know. So far that hasn't happened, and my guess is that it won't.

    For the record there's no simple, direct way to readily convert fuel-grade uranium into weapons-grade uranium, short of building a breeder reactor, and that's not exactly something you can do in your backyard or garage. Fuel-grade uranium doesn't go into a nuke, and you don't put weapons-grade uranium into your reactor, unless you want a really big &ldquo;boom&rdquo;.

    As it stands, the only nation in the Mideast that illegally built a nuclear weapons program outside of international purview was Israel, and they got some of the initial materials to do so by smuggling the uranium from a refinement facility in Apollo, Pennsylvania in the late 1960's (c.f.: The Samson Option by Seymour Hersh). Yet you never hear two peeps about the &ldquo;destabilizing influence in the Mideast&rdquo; of that nuclear bandit state in the press, do you?

    Also, let's not forget that the entire [crooked] line of thought is brought to you by the same perpetual prevaricators who threw up a lot of hot air about &ldquo;Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq!&rdquo; and &ldquo;Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan!&rdquo; and then were trying to beat the drums for a war with Syria under the pretense of &ldquo;Saddam moved all the weapons to Syria (and Iran!)&rdquo; It's the same old, tired media meme rehashed once again for a petty excuse to get us involved in another war we don't need and can't afford.

    For my part, I'd like to see every media editor that purports that very same lie to be strung up, just so the air can be cleared a bit.
    • You can most certainly use weapons grade uranium in a reactor. The Navy does it right now, that's how they have 20 years between refueling. Uranium fuel does easily convert into small amounts of plutonium. All you need is a reactor. A breeder reactor is designed to convert LARGE amounts of uranium into plutonium. Yes there are fear mongerers, but to completely dismiss any fears is just as foolish.
    • Yet you never hear two peeps about the “destabilizing influence in the Mideast” of that nuclear bandit state in the press, do you?

      Actually, every single time the Iranian nuclear program is mentioned.

  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @09:24AM (#33331276)

    While it could theoretically be done, this particular plant is not very useful for making bomb material.

    In order for plutonium produced by reactors to be useful for weapons it needs to be extracted from a reactor fairly shortly after being produced, or otherwise it will be contaminated with heavier plutonium isotopes that generate a lot of heat and neutrons, making the weapon design dramatically more difficult (so difficult in fact that it is probably easier to start all over and make decent material ). For this reason plants used to make bomb material are usually smaller and built to be able to refuel quickly. Attempting to separate the plutonium isotopes after they have been mixed would likely be more difficult than "simply" enriching uranium, so that's not much of a worry either.

    It is possible to build large reactors that can function both as power-plants and bomb producers, but this generally requires them to be designed so they can change their fuel bundles while operating ( The UK and former Soviet used to do this ). For a large pressurized water reactor, like this one, it is however not practical since it would require you to shut down and restart it to replace the fuel at frequent intervals, and for such a large reactor doing that takes ages, and it would be obvious to the outside world what is going on ( you don't just hide the fact that a few gigawatt of spill heat suddenly went away ).

    Basically of all the types of power producing reactors in widespread use in the world today, a large pressurized water reactor is probably the least suitable for making plutonium. It is theoretically possible, but it is not even a fraction as big a concern as the uranium enrichment facilities Iran is also operating. Those facilities can be used to create highly enriched U-235, which is pretty much the material that is easiest to turn into a nuclear weapon. Using plutonium can have advantages for advanced weapon designs, but it is a lot easier to do with uranium.

    • by vlm (69642) on Sunday August 22, 2010 @10:44AM (#33331698)

      While it could theoretically be done, this particular plant is not very useful for making bomb material.

      There are also thermodynamic issues that pretty much define a reactor as electric or plutonium producer. To generate Pu you need a high reaction rate which is easiest when the output temp is as low as possible = high coolant flow rate, but to generate electricity you need a high rate AND high output temperature. So a Pu plant wants as cool of a temp as possible (cheaper to maintain) and an electric plant wants as high of a temp as possible.

      One design constraint for electric plants is refueling and repair kills your output and ruins profitability. So the fuel rods spend some time in the reactor and cladding corrosion, and corrosion in general, is a big deal. Less surface area equals less corrosion. So electric reactor fuel rods tend to be a bit shorter and squatter to have minimum surface area.

      On the other hand Pu plants want the longest skinniest fuel rods they can manufacture because they need to keep the center of the rods below some material temperature limit. And the rods are only going to operate a little while in the reactor before being pulled and having the Pu extracted, so cladding/corrosion issues are kind of glossed over.

      Pu plant:
      skinny long fuel rods
      Freaking giant flow rate coolant pumps
      Everything built for low temperature
      "What, me worry?" toward cladding corrosion monitoring and the electrical gear in general

      Electric plant:
      Relatively shorter fatter fuel rods
      smaller coolant pumps
      everything built for high temperature
      Fancy ole cladding corrosion monitoring gear installed and used

      Its funny how the journalists think defining a plant as electric or Pu is just talk, but its really a pretty hard core engineering constraint that controls the whole design.

  • Just don't have homer simpson work there!

  • First, I wish no one had the bomb, and the idea of a squirrelly state like Iran - or God forbid, North Korea - having one is enough to make me lose sleep. That said, under what moral or legal right do we get to say that they can't have one, other than that we don't like them? Is it our official policy that only our allies get nukes, and if so, do Russia and China have the same official policy with non-overlapping sets of allies?

    Again, I don't want Iran to have the bomb. I'm just curious about what doctrine

Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth. -- Nero Wolfe

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