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Is uranium enrichment necessary for a Civil Nuclear Energy Program?

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posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 06:40 PM
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Iran has rejected EU's nuclear proposal, because it calls for the suspension of uranium enrichment. What I want to know is... could Iran have a civil nuclear-energy program without uranium enrichment? Is uranium enrichment necessarily part of a weapons program? Or is it also necessary for a civil energy program?

Please forgive my ignorance on this subject as I honestly know nothing about it. But I want to be somewhat educated on it so I can follow the logic of these proposals and such.

Any info is greatly appreciated.

Iran Rejects EU Nuclear Proposal



"The Europeans' proposal lacks the criteria enshrining Iran's interests and runs counter to the non-proliferation treaty's spirit,'' Hamid-Reza Assefi, a ministry spokesman, said, the state-run Iranian new agency reported today on its Web site.

France, Germany and the U.K., leading EU nuclear talks with Iran, mapped out yesterday proposals to support Iran's civil nuclear-energy program provided uranium enrichment is suspended.




posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 06:48 PM
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Technically it is not necesarry as the Europeans have been quite generous in offering fuel to Iran.(at a moderate price of course)

To answer your question though, from my limited understanding of the subject, is a simple Yes. The same way that an engine needs fuel to run a nuclear reactor must run off of something as well. . From how I understand it, nuclear fission is fueld by something ( I remember learning somewhere that energy is neither created or destroyed, or something along those lines).

To keep their nuclear program running, whilst maintaining self-suffiency, Yes the Iranians must enrich uranium. To have access to the nuclear fuel cycle, No they do not need to enrich uranium.

Like I said though; I have a limited understanding of the nuclear fuel cycle, so I could be, and probably am wrong.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 06:51 PM
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Thank you. So it sounds like the EU proposal was quite like saying, "Sure! You can have a car! No problem! You just can't have gas for it." Or maybe "We'll sell you the gas." ?

Is this your understanding?

[edit on 6-8-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Thank you. So it sounds like the EU proposal was quite like saying, "Sure! You can have a car! No problem! You just can't have gas for it." Or maybe "We'll sell you the gas." ?

Is this your understanding?

[edit on 6-8-2005 by Benevolent Heretic]


In one tiny pre-pubescent nut-shell....yes.
(not trying to demean your intrepretation of said events just my poor attmept at humour that's all)

Seriously though, yes! I could of never thought of a better analogy, that is exactly how I perceive what is currently going on.

It would appear that the "west" has split into two sides, with America on one side (trying to take over the globe, with nothing less than total world domination in it's sights), and the Europeans on the other side (playing up altruistic motives, whilst having the exact same goal in mind, even if they will settle for just the profit)

Caught in between both factions you will find Iran, in a deadly position, a position that has only been maintained through careful deliberation.

The paradox with Iran is as follows-On the one side you have a legitamate pursuit of peaceful nuclear technology, and on the other a legitamate cause for the pursuit of nuclear weapons, neither of which can be denied. However, in the middle you thave a giant grey area of truth, which unfortunately, most of us will never know.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 07:05 PM
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Heres a link that explains only 31/2 percent enrichment is required for a standard power reactor.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle

The Canadian CANDU reactor requires no enrichment

CANDU Reactor

So technically if Iran was to use this type then no enrichment would be required.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 07:31 PM
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Phoenix- So basically the TYPE of fuel enrichment that Iran is working on is not useful for anything other than weapons grade munition, correct?

This being the case can we hold Iran to the technological standards of western nations such as Canada, and the US? I mean considering the fact that all western nations have tried to keep nuclear technology out of the hands of brown people, is it that hard to imagine that perhaps this is the ONLY method that Iran has current access to?

True enrichment might not be necesarry for us, but with their limited technology, is that the only option that they currently possess?



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 07:47 PM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin

This being the case can we hold Iran to the technological standards of western nations such as Canada, and the US? I mean considering the fact that all western nations have tried to keep nuclear technology out of the hands of brown people, is it that hard to imagine that perhaps this is the ONLY method that Iran has current access to?

True enrichment might not be necesarry for us, but with their limited technology, is that the only option that they currently possess?


With Irans billions spent so far there is no lack of technology available. No the question one must ask is "what is Irans wish for an end result, nuclear power, nuclear weapons or is it both?"

Phoenixhasarisen it would seem that it would have been far cheaper in the first place to have an open power program rather than the supposed civilian program hiding the parallel military program.

By the way it is one of the IAEA's charters to help any country that wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes which it has indeed done in the case of Iran.

That fact has not one G-damned thing to do with racial makeup as was implied.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 08:05 PM
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Phoenix-
Come on there is no reason for cursing, even if abbreviated. I am not trying to be confrontational, just trying to discuss the facts of the matter. To me, it would appear that any nation that is not of fair complexion, has in fact been denied said technology, and has faced resistance to say the least. Regardless of what our treatise and you imply. If this is not the case, then by all means prove me wrong.

I will agree though that Iran is certainly no backwards A** country, that does not mean that though, that they have been allowed access to relevant technology unfettered. Sure they are not in the stone age, but once again that does not meant that they are on the cutting edge of nuclear technology, and that is how the west is treating them right now.


With Irans billions spent so far there is no lack of technology available. No the question one must ask is "what is Irans wish for an end result, nuclear power, nuclear weapons or is it both?"


Here I can be honest and state that this is a legitamate question. What do I think? I think the answer lies somewhere in between.


Phoenixhasarisen it would seem that it would have been far cheaper in the first place to have an open power program rather than the supposed civilian program hiding the parallel military program.

By the way it is one of the IAEA's charters to help any country that wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes which it has indeed done in the case of Iran.That fact has not one G-damned thing to do with racial makeup as was implied.


Here I can not say I agree by any means. Is it a coincidence that all nations comprised of brown peopple have been thwarted at every step to design said programs? If your answer is yes, then I have to say that I think you are not being very honest. I am not trying to say that racial makeup has EVERYTHING to do with it, but it is a factor none-the-less.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 08:09 PM
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Thanks for the links, Phoenix. When you say "for peaceful purposes" do you mean strictly for energy? Or could having nuclear weapons as a deterrent be a peaceful purpose? Just unclear on your meaning.

I was kinda wondering why Bush went along with the EU's proposal so easily. Could it be that he knew Iran would refuse it? And now, he gives the impression that he's really trying to get along with Iran?

One thing I've never understood... Why is it ok for the US (and others) to have nuclear weapons, but not Iran, for example? Who decides?

Sorry there are so many questions, this is a new venture for me.



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by Phoenix
Heres a link that explains only 31/2 percent enrichment is required for a standard power reactor.

Nuclear Fuel Cycle

The Canadian CANDU reactor requires no enrichment

CANDU Reactor

The CANDU reator uses heavy water and the heavy water process can turn natural uranium into plutonium without the need for enrichment.

Using that process over the light water reactors, which require enrichment, wouldn't have any benefit towards preventing nuclear weapons proliferation.



en.wikipedia.org...

Because heavy water reactors can use natural uranium, it is of concern in efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation. Heavy water production reactors can be designed to turn uranium into bomb-usable plutonium without requiring enrichment facilities. Heavy water production reactors have been used for this purpose by India, Israel, Pakistan, North Korea, Russia and USA. There is no evidence that heavy water power reactors, such as the CANDU design, have been used for military plutonium production.

Due to its potential for use in nuclear weapons programs, heavy water is subject to government control in several countries. Suppliers of heavy water and heavy water production technology typically apply IAEA administered safeguards and material accounting to heavy water. (In Australia, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation (Safeguards) Act 1987).


Iran has plans for both light water and heavy water facilities.
The Bushehr reactors, started in 1975 are light water and require enriched uranium.
They also have a heavy water production facility in Arak, where they plan to build a heavy water reactor which would not require enriched uranium.
link



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 07:53 AM
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Originally posted by phoenixhasrisin
Here I can not say I agree by any means. Is it a coincidence that all nations comprised of brown peopple have been thwarted at every step to design said programs? If your answer is yes, then I have to say that I think you are not being very honest. I am not trying to say that racial makeup has EVERYTHING to do with it, but it is a factor none-the-less.


phoenixhasrisin -

Countries with nuclear power generation,






Countries that could be called "brown" using your parlance,

South Korea
Japan
India
Argentina
Mexico
Brazil
Pakistan
China



Come on there is no reason for cursing, even if abbreviated. I am not trying to be confrontational, just trying to discuss the facts of the matter. To me, it would appear that any nation that is not of fair complexion, has in fact been denied said technology, and has faced resistance to say the least. Regardless of what our treatise and you imply. If this is not the case, then by all means prove me wrong.


You stand proven wrong.




posted on 6-8-2005 at 14:09

Thanks for the links, Phoenix. When you say "for peaceful purposes" do you mean strictly for energy? Or could having nuclear weapons as a deterrent be a peaceful purpose? Just unclear on your meaning.


Peaceful = no nuclear weapons

Deterence from what?
An attack by Israel?, they've had nuclear weapons for decades and have not used them - are we going to claim all of the sudden that Iran needs a counter?

An attack by the US?, now why indeed would Iran have a worry about that?, could it be that through its own past actions that it has caused these said same worries? - If Iran has such peaceful intent then it would renounce and quit supporting and funding religious fanatics, no need for so-called deterence then - is there?

Besides if Iran thinks the US is its reason for deterence, that is a joke! Imagine you have a machine gun with 10,000 rounds against an opponent with a six shooter - not much real deterence there!. The only use for nuclear weapons in Iran IMHO is to make the threat of nuclear armed terrorism viable, that is the only effective use they could have against western nations desiring an end to the fanaticism the Iranian government forments without suffering an immediate and overwhelming response in kind.




AceOfBase posted on 6-8-2005 at 14:12

The CANDU reator uses heavy water and the heavy water process can turn natural uranium into plutonium without the need for enrichment.


Well to me that just proves that the EU proposals are correct in controlling the byproducts of the fuel cycle.

Irans refusal to accept this limitation shows intent to use the byproduct for something else.

In an old axiom, "Trust but Verify" Iran has indeed proven it cannot be trusted to allow proper verification - leading to a reasonable suspicion that it has ill intent with its nuclear program. In fact Iran has been caught in an outright lie about its activities - it should face extraordinary scrutiny and conditions for a continued so-called "peaceful" nuclear program.



The defenders of Iranian rights to nuclear weapons (any more counties for that matter) should ask themselves and study the effect of the massive expenditure of the countries treasure on a dual program that surely will lead to disaster.

What about the peoples right to a better economy and living conditions? I never hear that issue brought up by the apologist's.(Please do not claim nuclear power production is the path, that has been well disproven in the west)

How many billions have been more or less stolen from Irans people by a fanatical government bent on maintaining a stranglehold on political power? (North Korea, same question)

I am always and truely astounded that the same people that decry "Human Rights" seem to be one and the same in supporting activities directly in opposition to that goal.

The oh so insane refrain "we have'em so why should'nt they have them" statement regarding nuclear weapons completely ignores the history and facts as have existed since 1945. It is by sheer luck that we are not extinct today or close to it.

The question should be more sanely constructed as, "How do we reduce existing weapons and prevent the spread of countries possessing them"
Any other path is one taken to sure and complete disaster IMHO.

My other comment reserved for those with the kneejerk anti-US, anti-Isreal tack in regards to policy towards Iran and North Korea is,

"One day you will pay a terrible price for your position along with untold millions of other victims"

Hope to be around to remind you of it.



Phoenix






[edit on 7-8-2005 by Phoenix]



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 08:17 AM
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Originally posted by Phoenix
Well to me that just proves that the EU proposals are correct in controlling the byproducts of the fuel cycle.

Irans refusal to accept this limitation shows intent to use the byproduct for something else.

In an old axiom, "Trust but Verify" Iran has indeed proven it cannot be trusted to allow proper verification - leading to a reasonable suspicion that it has ill intent with its nuclear program. In fact Iran has been caught in an outright lie about its activities - it should face extraordinary scrutiny and conditions for a continued so-called "peaceful" nuclear program.

The defenders of Iranian rights to nuclear weapons (any more counties for that matter) should ask themselves and study the effect of the massive expenditure of the countries treasure on a dual program that surely will lead to disaster.

What about the peoples right to a better economy and living conditions? I never hear that issue brought up by the apologist's.(Please do not claim nuclear power production is the path, that has been well disproven in the west)



The only reactors they have right now are the light water reactors.
They don't have heavy water reactors yet, just the start of a heavy water facility.

The fact that they want control over the fuel used by those reactors is not proof of intent to use it for other means as the IAEA will still be there inspecting the process and will monitor the amount of enriched uranium and any byproducts.

Your argument on the amount of money spent does not really apply to Iran. Iran does not spend a massive amount on defense.

They're no where near the top 10 in military expenditure per capita.
They're at number 66.

1. Israel $1451.35 per person
2. United States $1253.49 per person
3. Kuwait $1106.54 per person
4. Singapore $1010.00 per person
5. Bahrain $913.64 per person
6. Norway $878.17 per person
7. Qatar $837.72 per person
8. Australia $828.75 per person
9. Brunei $780.69 per person
10. France $745.81 per person
Military: Expenditures - Dollar figure (per capita)



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 08:25 AM
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Originally posted by Phoenix
Deterence from what?
An attack by Israel?, they've had nuclear weapons for decades and have not used them - are we going to claim all of the sudden that Iran needs a counter?


No, we aren't going to claim it. Maybe Iran feels, with the state of the world as it is, and with the US going roughshod into Iraq and blowing the hell out of it, and now threatening Iran, maybe they're feeling the need for some kind of protection. After all, we developed nuclear weapons because we felt the need, Why can't they?

It's not for us to reason or police. They are a sovereign nation. I asked why they can't have them and your response is why would they need them? Maybe they want them! We have them - why can't they? Why do WE get to say who can and cannot have them?



An attack by the US?, now why indeed would Iran have a worry about that?

Maybe because we're threatening them with attack? Where have you been?



Besides if Iran thinks the US is its reason for deterence, that is a joke!

So, they couldn't even dream of being a threat to the US, so they shouldn't have them at all. What kind of logic is that?

Again, the US is being the world bully and policing NEARLY every other nation. I'm embarrassed and ashamed!

I didn't intend this thread to be an argument about why Iran should or should not have nuclear weapons. I wanted information and I think I've got it. Thanks.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 11:09 AM
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Forgetting your ashamedness for the time being,

I'll certainly entertain,


I didn't intend this thread to be an argument about why Iran should or should not have nuclear weapons. I wanted information and I think I've got it. Thanks.


The stance and status is that it will cost Iran more money per kilowatt to produce electricity by nuclear means than it would by conventional fossil fueled plants.

It is possible for Iran to produce nuclear electricity without the total fuel cycle which would go a long way in convincing other nations it truly does desire nuclear technology for peaceful use.

Iran at its own admittance decieved the IAEA about its current status after being busted on P-2 centrifuge work.

Iran deserves extra scrutiny and rules by the international community due to their own self admitted actions.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by Phoenix
The stance and status is that it will cost Iran more money per kilowatt to produce electricity by nuclear means than it would by conventional fossil fueled plants.



Does that statement take into account the extra money they will gain by selling the fossil fuels instead of using them to generate power? (genuine question)



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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Originally posted by Phoenix
You stand proven wrong.


How did you prove me wrong? Did I say that no nation comprised of "brown" people possess nuclear technology? No. From my understanding though we (the U.S) have not been very willing to freely give that technology up. That is my understanding, and that was my question. How forthwith have we been in sharing the technology? As for the countries you list-Out of 30 countries you list five which are truly brown countries (many in korea, china, japan, etc, would not describe themselves as brown) and once again that has nothing to do with how they acquired the technology. I am not saying I am familiar with every single situation either, but I am pretty confident when I say that we have not been too eager in sharing it, even for peaceful purposes.

True is your point that nuclear weapons need to be destroyed and all stockpiles eliminated....In a perfect world though alot of things would happen. The fact of the matter is all of the nuclear powered nations have continued research and development, yet in the next breath scream about non-proliferation. If we truly want no one to have them then we would find a way to destroy them. The problem is, everyone wants to be the only one with nukes. Why should you be the only guy on the block with a gun?

The fact of the matter is, as long as the worlds stongest nation feels the need to continue possessing and developing new nuclear weapons, then every one on the globe has a legitamate concern about wanting to possess the same technology. After all it might be the only thing that saves them in the end.

Oh yeah and you never told me if they have access to that canadian process which you mentioned earlier. Do they?

[edited for last ques]



[edit on 7-8-2005 by phoenixhasrisin]



posted on Aug, 8 2005 @ 03:44 AM
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Iran does need enriched uranium for its reactors, but the fear is that they use their civilian program as a cover for a military program. For that reason, the EU offered them a deal so that they could get the Iranians could get an assured supply of enriched uranium on economically very good terms. rejection of such an offer doesn't make any political nor economical sense, so that would be a firm indication that they're bent on using it for military purposes, i.e. building nukes.



Originally posted by Phoenix
The stance and status is that it will cost Iran more money per kilowatt to produce electricity by nuclear means than it would by conventional fossil fueled plants.

I wouldn't know for sure. Russia built that nuclear plant and I think it costed them less than a western plant would have costed, which would indeed be more expensive than conventional fossil fueled plants. Considering the increasing oil prices, it just might make sense to produce electricity through nuclear fission and use the hard valuta that the oil saved generates. Nuclear energy is also a long term investment and Iran has through mismanagement had some problems already with certain types of fuel, I believe vehicle fuel which is heavily subsidized.



IRAN'S ECONOMIC MORASS Mismanagement and Decline under the Islamic Republic

The most costly subsidy by far is the very low domestic price for gasoline and other oil products. Even the major oil exporting sheikhdoms of the Persian Gulf, with much smaller populations than Iran, do not charge such low prices. The result is that Iran's oil consumption has been rising very rapidly, in effect reducing the volume available for export. According to recent calculations, the annual cost of both explicit and implicit subsidies is about $15 billion -- roughly equivalent to the country's total 1995 annual oil revenues.

The natural solution in the west would however be privatization and an end to such subsidies and malpractices, but since probably too many people in the nutty government of Iran are happy with that situation and make money out of it, a nuclear reactor might seem like an easy way to decrease oil consumption and increase income in hard valuta.



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