Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Things to Come in Iran and Indiana

800px-Indiana-rural-road A fair number of news stories are not about what happened but what might happen soon. The story below about California concerns an as-yet unissued executive order that might (or might not) include nuclear energy. A thing to come.

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A Bad Thing to Come: War in Iran

Iran is ready to defend its nuclear facilities against any foreign attack, chief of Iran's Nuclear Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi said Tuesday.

"Iran has been continuously threatened with attacks on its nuclear facilities ... Tehran is confident of its capacities to defend itself," Salehi told Iran's IRINN state TV channel.

Capacity? Sure. Actual ability? Well…

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A Good Thing to Come to Forestall the Bad Thing to Come: Joint Talks with Iran:

After months of anticipation, the United States, Iran and other world powers on Monday set an Oct. 1 date to meet and potentially discuss Iran's nuclear program, which remains a source of concern to the West and Israel.

While the Obama administration has reversed U.S. policy by agreeing to meet on the nuclear issue without preconditions, Iran has all but ruled out talks over halting its production of reactor-grade nuclear fuel, the West's central worry.

What Iran says now and what it will say in October might well be quite different. But Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, actually has made some promising statements:

"But this does not mean that within a larger framework [of] discussing nuclear issues, disarmament, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, nonproliferation . . . in this regard, yes, we are open to discussion."

Which, if you wanted to be a cynic, might just be setting the table for a failure – easier to blame the United States for a bad outcome if one looks utterly reasonable now. Whether you prefer saber rattling or negotiation, history has shown both approaches have had epic fails and epic successes. So far, stalemate. Let’s see what happens in October.

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Let’s leave Iran for a truly nice thing to come:

Nuclear plants in Indiana

There are no nuclear power plants in Indiana, but lawmakers are expected to wrestle next year with whether to offer an incentive that could boost prospects for building reactors in the state.

Well, that’s promising. And for a little irony, try this:

The debate centers on whether utilities should be able to charge customers for the cost of building a nuclear plant as soon as construction begins, rather than having to wait until the reactor is operating. Current state law only allows utilities building so-called "clean coal" power plants -- those that release less carbon dioxide -- to charge customers for construction that is still in progress.

So much cleaner, or should we say “cleaner”, than nuclear.

The open road in Indiana. My dad once told me that driving through Indiana was the most boring experience of his life: straight roads through an unchanging landscape and only tub thumping preachers on the radio. (This would have been during the forties – we’re sure it’s lots better now.)

4 comments:

SteveK9 said...

Same comment from my wife about Indiana, when we drove through in the 80's. Any updates?

Anonymous said...

Naw, still the same, lots of cornfields. But, give them their props, they feed the rest of us. But a nuke or two in Hoosierland would certainly help the generating capacity in the GL region.

Anonymous said...

Duke Edwardsport IGCC plant being built in Indiana with that law. It's a shame that it gets these laws while nuclear can't, like in Missouri.

Anonymous said...

The Iranians have already made several reasonable compromise offers that would address even hypothetical concern about nuclear weapons programs -- for example, they offered to open their program to multinational participation, an idea endorsed by the IAEA and Western experts -- but the US ignored these offers and instead demands that IRan give up enrichment entirely. That is quite unreasonable.