Thursday, May 1, 2008
Weapons of Mass Distraction: Debunking the Case for Electricity Generation in Iran
My research paper focused on the economic merits of nuclear electricity generation in Iran. Regardless of Iran's true motives, nuclear electricity generation makes little sense for Iran.
Although Iran does have electricity sector problems, these troubles stem from bad policies, not choice of primary energy source. Because most of Iran's electricity is generated by natural gas-fired power plants, massive natural gas subsidies have led to unabated consumption and the inability to cover neither maintenance nor new plant construction costs.
Embarking on an expensive nuclear program only distracts attention away from Iran's existing electricity infrastructure inefficiencies. The explicit (construction, maintenance, decommissioning, and uranium costs) and implicit (resulting sanctions, international isolation, loss of much needed foreign investment) costs of Iran's continuing nuclear program belies any economic logic.
Photo Courtesy of The New York Times.