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Experts wonder why Oil-rich UAE is opening the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant.

Oil-rich UAE opens the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant. Experts question why, By Ivana Kottasová and Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN, August 1, 2020, Why oil rich UAE is developing nuclear power 02:35

The United Arab Emirates has launched a nuclear energy plant on Saturday, the first such project in the oil-rich Arab world.

Unit 1 of the Barakah plant in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi started producing heat on Saturday, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said in a statement. Unit 1 is the first of the plant’s four nuclear reactors to launch. The corporation said the construction of Unit 2 has finished recently, while the other two reactors are still being built — even though the original schedule called for the plant to become operational by 2017…….
some experts have questioned the need for the nuclear power plant given the country’s potential to develop solar energy and the tensions surrounding nuclear power in the Middle East.
Paul Dorfman, who heads the Nuclear Consulting Group and is a research associate at UCL’s Energy Institute, has warned the UAE’s investment into the plant “risks further destabilizing the volatile Gulf region, damaging the environment and raising the possibility of nuclear proliferation.”
In an opinion piece published earlier this year, Dorfman argued that the investment into the new plant is “strange” given the falling prices of renewable energy technology and rising costs of nuclear power generation.
“Since new nuclear seems to make little economic sense in the Gulf, which has some of the best solar energy resources in the world, the nature of Emirate interest in nuclear may lie hidden in plain sight — nuclear weapon proliferation,” he wrote.
Jim Krane, an energy studies fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, said that based purely on costs, the nuclear plant was “an uncompetitive choice” for the UAE. ……

August 2, 2020 - Posted by | politics, United Arab Emirates

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