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Expansion of nuclear power in the troubled Middle East – not a good idea

Will the UAE’s Barakah project launch new era of peaceful nuclear power in the Middle East?  Al-Monitor

Ali Ahmad @Ali_Ahmad_Not   28 Aug 20, “……. Despite the UAE’s commitment and thorough planning, arguably supported by the best experts and consultants, Barakah’s first unit took more than eight years in construction and testing. It is, therefore, safe to assume that other countries in the region will need at least that much time to bring their own projects to completion. Considering such a long time frame, and the emerging energy revolution in the region that is powered by cheap renewables and natural gas, it would be very hard to sell a nuclear project anywhere in the region based on economic rationales………….

efforts to sell the nuclear narrative to the public have been either weak or nonexistent in other countries in the region, where the social contract itself appears to be weaker. In Jordan, Turkey and, to some extent, in Egypt, the public has been vocal in its criticisms of proposed nuclear projects, pointing to a seemingly broader issue of lack of trust in the government.

Of course, financing was never an issue for the UAE. One of the most daunting challenges for Middle Eastern countries — or indeed any country — with nuclear aspirations has been the substantial financing needed for nuclear power projects. In contrast to the UAE, an oil-rich country with readily available financial resources and a high credit rating of AA2, based on latest data by Moody’s, many other countries in the region are struggling with strained economies and mounting public debt.

The coronavirus pandemic further weakened regional economies, including oil-rich states such as Saudi Arabia, which also suffered from the collapse of oil prices. Meanwhile, the majority of the UAE’s nuclear investments were made well before the pandemic as the project started in 2012……

…..the expansion of nuclear power in the Middle East introduces more challenges than opportunities in a region swept by conflicts, fragility and economic hardship. https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/08/uae-power-plant-middle-east-nuclear-race.html#ixzz6WSB4zMqe

August 29, 2020 - Posted by | safety, United Arab Emirates

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