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By Russ Wellen
Because it appears on the websites of local Fox News stations, one instinctively takes an article titled Insider: Iran Will Be 'Next Chernobyl' with a grain of salt. But its plausibility is undeniable. See if you agree.
The first Iranian nuclear power station is inherently unsafe and will probably cause a "tragic disaster for humankind," according to a document apparently written by an Iranian whistleblower. There is a "great likelihood" that the Bushehr reactor could generate the next nuclear catastrophe after Chernobyl or Fukushima, says the document. … It claims that Bushehr, which began operating last month after 35 years of intermittent construction, was built by "second-class engineers" who bolted together Russian and German technologies from different eras; that it sits in one of the world's most seismically active areas but could not withstand a major earthquake; and that it has "no serious training program" for staff or a contingency plan for accidents. The document's authenticity cannot be confirmed, but nuclear experts see no reason to doubt it.
More about the Russian-German incompatibility:
"The Russian parts are designed to standards that are less stringent than the Germans' and they are being used out of context in a design where they are exposed to inappropriate stresses," the document says. It goes on to claim that "much of the necessary work for Bushehr is outside the competence of the Russian consulting engineers," who consider the project a "holiday."
What's ironic about this article is that Fox types no doubt view the shoddy-sounding state of Iran's nuclear-energy program as a force multiplier to add to Iran's alleged development of nuclear weapons. Operating in synergy, theoretically they should make the case for attacking Iran. To others though, Iran's possible nuclear-energy troubles eclipse the nuclear weapons threat. Thus is Iran reduced from malevolent to incompetent and not worth attacking. Given enough time, its nuclear program may well blow itself up.
- Originally published by Foreign Policy in Focus
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