July 08, 2008

Do you want to know why Iran has a nuclear program?

The principal lesson taught in school regarding personal finance is that everyone should have at least a five-year business plan. Creating such a plan forces us to take inventory of what we have, allowing us to figure out what we need to do to be able to prepare for what our needs may be for the future.

This concept is also applied to collectives, such as corporations, communities and countries. The larger the collective the further into the future the business plan should foresee.

This is where Iran’s nuclear program comes in. You see, even though we may be under the assumption that an oil well will produce oil indefinitely, reality is much different. One of the most important observed properties of oil wells is that they follow Hubbert’s peak theory postulate, “that for any given geographical area, from an individual oil-producing region to the planet as a whole, the rate of petroleum production tends to follow a bell-shaped curve.”

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“Early in the curve (pre-peak), the production rate increases due to the discovery rate and the addition of infrastructure. Late in the curve (post-peak), production declines due to resource depletion. The Hubbert peak theory is based on the observation that the amount of oil under the ground in any region is finite, therefore the rate of discovery which initially increases quickly must reach a maximum and decline.”

According to a 2007 report (PDF) by German based Energy Watch Group, many countries have already gone past peak oil.

click to enlarge - source (PDF)

We don’t know where on the peak oil curve Iran is right now, but even if they have not reached peak oil production yet, it is safe to assume that they will shortly. This means that Iran must begin to look for other sources of energy for its future, just like many other countries. At present, the primary choices available for power production are very limited. They are hydro, gas, coal and nuclear – with nuclear giving the biggest bang for the buck.

“At the moment there are more than 400 nuclear power plants all over the world, which produce about 17% of the world's electricity. The share can range from just few percent in some countries up and to 75% as in France.”

According to the data available at the Nuclear Training Centre (ICJT), the United States has 104 reactors connected, however this is not enough to satisfy America’s energy needs, which is why “John McCain is pushing for the construction of 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030.” This means that the United States with a population of approximately 300 million would have 149 reactors.

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Iran has a population of over 71 million and it must have a plan in place to supply energy to its citizens in the future. Their oil and gas are non-renewable resources, which means that they will be running out at some point. The implications of this are beyond what our politicians and the Western mainstream media present.

Iran has a nuclear program because their government has done the calculations and realizes that if they are to survive they will need alternate sources of energy. Considering that nuclear power is the least problematic based on certain global warming hypotheses, they are pursuing the only and best choice available to them.

What makes those countries that already have nuclear power think for one second that they have the right to deny others the same privilege? If Iran is denied the right to develop nuclear power then other energy-starved countries will also be denied.

Do we actually believe that we have the right to do this? And even if we think that we do, do we actually believe that people living in countries that have yet to develop nuclear power will refrain from developing the technology just because we say so, especially when they see us enjoying all the benefits that comes with access to almost unlimited energy?

If we try to deny Iran the right to develop this technology, then we are essentially telling them that they should remain a developing nation indefinitely, while they watch their lifestyle deteriorate as their oil and gas supplies slowly dwindle.

The conflict between Iran, the US, and Israel is about the survival of a tribe, of a culture, of a country. Iranians and the peoples of other countries that find themselves being denied energy will fight for their right to develop a reliable energy source, after all, under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, they have the 'Inalienable Right' to Nuclear Energy. Are we really ready to start a war to deny them their rights? Do we actually believe that we have the means to do so?

What a predicament our leaders have put us in.

I think the best way to resolve this crisis is to ask ourselves what we would do if another nation threatened us for developing technology that could supply the energy requirements of our country.

I don't agree with all the 'facts' in this article, but the political stance is right on.

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