Skip to main content

Bridging the Gulf with Nuclear Energy

attractions_image2Even if we were a little more, um, self-centered, we probably  wouldn't try out a sentence like this:

Nuclear power rather than renewable sources like the wind or sun are the best option for oil-rich Gulf Arab states to meet growing energy demands, especially if produced collectively, say regional experts.

Not that we don't agree, but it does seem counter-intuitive: we're not sure about wind, but one thing we do know, there's a lot of sunshine in those parts. So why the focus on nuclear?

[Saudi Electricity Company president Ali Saleh al-Barrack] said that while Saudi Arabia was conducting research into renewable energies, options such as wind and solar power were either limited or less attractive for technical reasons.

Given the high demand for power and the population growth in the Gulf region, "I think the only immediate solution is nuclear energy," which is the best option in economic and environmental terms, Barrack said.

And here's where we really started to like Mr. al-Barrack:

He dismissed fears of environmental damage from nuclear energy as "driven by Hollywood-style fiction."

There's been some concern over development of nuclear energy in the middle east because of the region's fractious history and a somewhat tendentious concern over proliferation, but the countries there (let's leave Iran to the side for now) have approached nuclear energy responsibly. Most have pacted with the United States and/or France to explore the technical options and several (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE) are working as a unit, initiating talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Raja Kiwan, an analyst with energy advisers PFC Energy, throws a wet blanket over the party - which is what analysts of any field are paid to do, right? - by noting that most of the partners are pursuing separate agendas, with UAE likely to get a plant first. (Well, if they can get Dubailand up and running, a nuclear energy plant should be a snap.) But even he does not deny or downplay the inevitability of nuclear energy:

"Nuclear is probably the most tested and the most applicable source of energy for the (level) of demand growth that this region is going to be seeing over the next 20-25 years," he said.

It's enough to make a nuclear energy advocate self-centered.

Note: The picture above is of Dubailand. Looks like fun in the sun.

Comments

gunter said…
Saudi Arabia wants to build nukes to increase export of oil is another connection between nuclear power and fossil fuel.
Daniel Work said…
Too true Gunter.....

Oil and now natural gas have become too valuable to burn for electricity and with many billions of dollars at stake who's going to waste their time with toys like wind and solar.

But I'm guessing that not what you meant...
gunter said…
Its more relevant to show that we now have an emerging nuclear powered petroleum industry in light of the efforts to use nuclear to also extract the tar sands in northern Alberta-a resource second only to the House of Saud.

So much for the "clean air" industry which was always a big "CON" job by Coal Oil and Nuclear ala Cheney's closed door meetings.

And to be more precise its not about the unquestionable availability and affordability of solar and wind in Saudia Arabia but about their nationalistic interests for the acquisition to home grown nuclear weapons materials.
Anonymous said…
Gunter's tying all his favorite strings together again...

Nuclear = Bush/Cheney/Hitler

Nuclear = weapons

Never gets old, eh Gunter?

Occam's Razor here--maybe they want to use nuclear power so they can.... stop burning oil in Saudi Arabia that they can sell to stupid Americans who can't build nuclear power for themselves because of brain-dead anti-nuclear zealots?

Boy those Saudis are clever, ain't they?
Anonymous said…
Gunter's policies and proposals fund, however indirectly, Islamic fascism in lands drenched in mineral slime. Keeping the US off of nuclear power keeps us dependent on fossil fuel and that is exactly what Gunter is being paid to do by the monetary support he receives from those in whose financial interests it is that nuclear NOT succeeed. Solar and wind are a joke. No sunlight - no solar. And if wind were so darn great, then why aren't cargo and passenger ships still powered by sails?

Popular posts from this blog

A Design Team Pictures the Future of Nuclear Energy

For more than 100 years, the shape and location of human settlements has been defined in large part by energy and water. Cities grew up near natural resources like hydropower, and near water for agricultural, industrial and household use.

So what would the world look like with a new generation of small nuclear reactors that could provide abundant, clean energy for electricity, water pumping and desalination and industrial processes?

Hard to say with precision, but Third Way, the non-partisan think tank, asked the design team at the Washington, D.C. office of Gensler & Associates, an architecture and interior design firm that specializes in sustainable projects like a complex that houses the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The talented designers saw a blooming desert and a cozy arctic village, an old urban mill re-purposed as an energy producer, a data center that integrates solar panels on its sprawling flat roofs, a naval base and a humming transit hub.

In the converted mill, high temperat…

Sneak Peek

There's an invisible force powering and propelling our way of life.
It's all around us. You can't feel it. Smell it. Or taste it.
But it's there all the same. And if you look close enough, you can see all the amazing and wondrous things it does.
It not only powers our cities and towns.
And all the high-tech things we love.
It gives us the power to invent.
To explore.
To discover.
To create advanced technologies.
This invisible force creates jobs out of thin air.
It adds billions to our economy.
It's on even when we're not.
And stays on no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.
This invisible force takes us to the outer reaches of outer space.
And to the very depths of our oceans.
It brings us together. And it makes us better.
And most importantly, it has the power to do all this in our lifetime while barely leaving a trace.
Some people might say it's kind of unbelievable.
They wonder, what is this new power that does all these extraordinary things?

New Home for Our Blog: Join Us on NEI.org

On February 27, NEI launched the new NEI.org. We overhauled the public site, framing all of our content around the National Nuclear Energy Strategy.

So, what's changed?

Our top priority was to put you, the user, first. Now you can quickly get the information you need. You'll enjoy visiting the site with its intuitive navigation, social media integration and compelling and shareable visuals. We've added a feature called Nuclear Now, which showcases the latest industry news and resources like fact sheets and reports. It's one of the first sections you'll see on our home page and it can be accessed anywhere throughout the site by clicking on the atom symbol in the top right corner of the page.
Most importantly for you, our loyal NEI Nuclear Notes readers, is that we've migrated the blog to the new site. Moving forward, all blog posts will be published in the News section, along with our press releases, Nuclear Energy Overview stories and more. Just look for the &qu…