Just a followup from my previous post on why Iran needs nuclear power.
Iran’s identified uranium ore reserves could produce as much electricity as that from some 45 billion barrels of oil – about one-third of Iran’s proven oil reserves – with almost zero emissions and atmospheric pollution.
Energy Tribune Dec. 11, 2006
A tiny pellet of uranium held in the palm of your hand weighs about seven grams, a little more than a U.S. quarter. Get this: It can generate as much energy as 147 gallons of oil, 17,000 cubic feet of natural gas or 1,780 pounds of coal.
- Nuclear Renaissance, Forbes.com Nov 14 2007
Uranium prices are closing in on $100 a lb -- a 10-fold increase in five years -- and prices could climb sharply higher yet as more governments embrace atomic energy despite dwindling supplies of yellow cake to power the reactors.
- Reuters, March 27 2007
Currently envisaged (Uranium) production capabilities through 2020 cannot by themselves satisfy projected world uranium requirements and many countries have already started looking to uranium for future power.
Nuclear Energy Agency 5 July 2004
The price of uranium has recorded its biggest percentage increase since dealings were first reported almost 40 years ago . . . Demand for uranium is soaring thanks to a renaissance in the nuclear power industry. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, 168 new nuclear reactors will be built over the next 15 years. There are currently 440, generating around 16pc of the world's electricity. China plans to build 40 new reactors and India wants to add eight more to the 15 it has already.
The Telegraph - November 14 2007
Some developing nations are skeptical of the intentions of the five original nuclear states and are reluctant to give up the option of enriching uranium. Developing nations say they don’t want to give up their rights to uranium enrichment and don’t trust the United States or other nuclear countries to be consistent suppliers of the nuclear material they would need to run their power plants.
- New Global Nuclear Order; Los Angeles Times October 15, 2006
Almost all the new and prospective entrants in the enrichment business appear anxious to establish their credentials as having existing technology in place. Driving this process, in part, is the perception that all countries will soon be divided into uranium enrichment "haves" (suppliers) and "have-nots" (customers) under various proposals to establish multinational nuclear fuel centers and fuel-supply arrangements.
Lining up to enrich Uranium, International Herald Tribune, Sept 12 2006.
Oil near $100 and rapid economic growth are giving growing momentum to Middle East plans to develop nuclear energy to help meet escalating power demand.
-Middle East speeds up shift to nuclear power Reuters, Jan 21, 2008
Two U.S. companies, General Electric and United States Enrichment Corp., or USEC, along with their European rivals, Urenco and Areva, are pushing billions worth of new U.S. enrichment plants or technology so they do not miss the new uranium boom.
- Companies race to open new uranium enrichment facilities in U.S., International Herald Tribune, Feb 27 2008
To all this I would add that currently about 16% of the world's energy is obtained from nuclear power, but that is set to rise significantly. Even right now, the United States gets 20% of its power from nuclear energy, and accounts for almost one third of the world's nuclear electricity. Belgium, Hungary, South Korea, Sweden and Switzerland are part of a group of sixteen countries generate at least 25% of their electricity from nuclear energy. France and Lithuania rely on nuclear energy for more than 75% of their energy.
SO, yes, Iran would be giving away something quite valuable if it allows certain nations to monopolize uranium enrichment in their own favor, and anyone who thinks that Iran should just "trust" those nations to sell nuclear fuel to Iran fairly is a complete moron.