Seriously, don't worry about Iran's new uranium discoveries


Apparently Iran has discovered new sources or uranium within its own borders:

The Iranian government has found a surprise uranium reserve which could allow the country to fuel its nuclear programme without having to look abroad. It was previously thought that Iran would have to import uranium from other countries in order to power its nuclear plants, which would have made it easier for the West to monitor the develop of the controversial project.

This is not, not at all, what it appears to be:

Some Western analysts have previously said that Iran was close to exhausting its supply of yellowcake - or raw uranium - and that mining it domestically was not cost-efficient. A report published in 2013 by U.S. think-tanks Carnegie Endowment and the Federation of American Scientists said the scarcity and low quality of Iran's uranium resources compelled it 'to rely on external sources of natural and processed uranium'. It added: 'Despite the Iranian leadership's assertions to the contrary, Iran's estimated uranium endowments are nowhere near sufficient to supply its planned nuclear programme.'

The point about reserves, about mineral reserves, is that they are entirely dependent upon cost of extraction. Something that we pointed out here in this handy .pdf. That Iran has uranium within its borders simply is not a surprise to anyone at all. It would be entirely possible, just as an example, to run a nuclear weapons and or power program simply by grinding up pieces of Cornwall. Or, in fact, the back gardens of suburban England. The question is, at what cost?

What Iran has announced is that it's found uranium. What it hasn't announced is that it has uranium which it is economic to extract. Therefore nothing at all has changed: for we all always knew that Iran had uranium, just as every country, city and hedgerow does.