Over the past century or so, Iran has experienced more earthquakes than any other part of the globe - at least one tremor each day. Last week's earthquake in the south-central province of Lorestan is the latest reminder of that fact.
Since Iran started properly recording earthquakes in the late 1940s, it has suffered at least one "big one" every decade: Torud (1950s), Boein-Zahra (1960s), Tabas-Golshan (1970s), Qazvin (1980s), Rudbar-Tarom (1990s) and Bam (December 2003). By official estimates, these earthquakes claimed the lives of 126,000 people, injured a further 800,000 and made 1.8 million people homeless. At times, the damage from one quake amounted to more than 7 percent of the nation's GDP...
The project was 75 percent complete when the revolt of the mullahs began in Iran in 1978. The Germans abandoned the work, and Iraqi airstrikes destroyed what had already been built in the 1980s.
When the program was revived in 1989, it was the turn of Tehran University's Geophysical Centre to raise concerns on grounds of safety. A study was commissioned by then-President Hashemi Rafsanjani in 1993 and completed in 1995. It has never been published, but parts have leaked - warning that the plant, as designed, might not withstand tremors of 7 or more on the Richter scale.
An official Iranian government report at a 2005 international conference in Kobe, Japan, puts the area where the nuclear plant is located at the center of the country's most active earthquake zone.
Thus, even building a plant for the production of electricity using nuclear fuel would be a disaster waiting to happen.
Read it all.