How Iran Can Have Nuclear Power and the World Can Have Peace
by Gerald Celente: Trend
Forecasting and the Crisis of Western Civilization
the world teeters on the edge of war. Once again, the conflict is
in the Middle East. Once again, the conflict is over energy.
Iran has been developing nuclear power. For years, the world has
disbelieved Irans claims that its atomic energy would be only
for peaceful, domestic uses.
States, Israel, the EU and other nations contend that Tehran is
lying, and have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran. These embargoes
now increasingly deny food and other staples to the Iranian people
while costing companies around the world customers and markets.
14th, the sanctions tightened: owners of more than 100 oil supertankers
announced that they would no longer load crude from Irans
oilfields, cutting off the countrys only meaningful source
A day later,
Irans President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visited the Tehran Nuclear
Research Center to witness the loading of the first domestically-made
uranium fuel rods in a reactor that the country claims will be used
solely for medical purposes.
is careening beyond control. In 2009, Iran lost the use of hundreds
of centrifuges devices that spin on an axis like the hubs
of a wagon wheel and use centripetal force to separate things, including
the isotopes of uranium. In June 2010, it was discovered that the
problem was due to the infamous Stuxnet computer worm, which had
damaged the centrifuges by causing them to spin suddenly at wildly
A year later,
an explosion at an Iranian military base reportedly damaged a facility
where Iran was developing long-range missiles capable of delivering
nuclear warheads. In the past two years, four Iranian nuclear scientists
have been murdered one just last month on the streets of
Tehran. Iran blames the sabotage and murders on Mossad, Israels
intelligence agency, and the CIA.
In what are now being termed revenge attacks, Thai authorities charge
two Iranians with a series of bombings in Thailand this week and
Thai investigators claim possible links between these attacks and
the attempted murder of Israeli officials in India. And, Israel
has also accused Iran of planting a car bomb (that was defused)
in an Israeli embassy vehicle this week in the European country
the US military has held a series of press conferences and are hosting
mainstream media reporters on navy warships patrolling the Persian
Gulf. All of the war drum beating, assassinations and sanctions
are made under the pretext of Irans alleged intention to use
their quest for nuclear power as a cover for the building of nuclear
Solution: If Iran is sincere that it seeks only peaceful uses
for its nuclear energy, the crisis can easily be defused.
isnt that Iran seeks nuclear power. The problem is that, like
the rest of the world, Iran has made a poor choice of nuclear fuel.
fuel that runs the worlds nuclear reactors, is lethal even
when its not packed in a bomb. Its absurdly complicated
to handle, its behavior is touchy and unpredictable, and its waste
is fatal to humans for millions of years after weve wrung
the small amount of energy from it that our technology allows.
can follow the lead of China, India, Brazil, and other nations and
turn to thorium.
an obscure, mildly radioactive metal produced as a waste product
from the mining of rare earth minerals. This waste sits in piles
on the ground in China, which produces most of the worlds
rare earths; its locked away underground in most other countries,
which have followed the USs lead in banning the mining of
rare earths because the process produces radioactive waste
in the form of thorium.
Yet when thorium
was tested as a nuclear fuel in the 1950s, it was found to be both
cleaner and safer than uranium. It cant melt down or spontaneously
explode when a critical mass of it is piled up; and
it produces mainly alpha radiation, which is so weak that it cant
penetrate skin. Although thorium does produce a trace of radioactive
waste that endures for billions of years, the amount is vastly smaller
than uraniums leavings.
is more easily accessible around the world than uranium and more
plentiful its about three times as abundant as tin.
In theory, a lump of thorium the size of a golf ball could supply
the lifetime energy needs of a typical American and more
than that of an Iranian.
the technology to produce thorium is close at hand. International
Thorium Energy & Molten Salt Technology, Inc., a private Japanese
firm, intends to produce a 10-kilowatt thorium reactor within five
years. China and India also are engineering thorium reactors. With
some re-engineering, thorium even can be combined with uranium to
make cleaner, longer-lived fuel rods for conventional nuclear reactors
already in service.
In the years
it would take Iran to build a conventional nuclear reactor, with
its hundred-foot cooling towers and thousands of miles of plumbing,
the nation could make a factory to turn out small thorium reactors.
Iran has modest rare earth deposits and China, as Irans largest
trading partner, could easily supply the reactors fuel. China
and also India could share their growing technical expertise with
Iran, not over international objections but with the approval of
the rest of the world.
generators would present no regional or global threat and would
serve Irans internal needs even more effectively than its
current plan: the smaller thorium reactors can be made relatively
quickly, with consistent quality, in a factory and then shipped
and installed right where power is needed at a factory, a
mine, a military base, or as an incremental addition to a conventional
generating plan. Iran could quickly achieve a strategic goal of
western nations: the simultaneous expansion and decentralization
of the electrical grid.
As is often
the case, the current crisis is an opportunity. If Iran truly wants
only peaceful nuclear power, it can choose thorium as its nuclear
and the US, Israel, the EU and other nations can choose
© 2011 Gerald Celente
is founder and director of The Trends Research Institute, author
2000 and Trend
Tracking (Warner Books), and publisher of The Trends
Journal. He has been forecasting trends since 1980, and recently
called The Collapse of ’09.
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