We wondered if the Dubai World debt problem was going to affect the nuclear ambitions of its fellow UAE member, Abu Dhabi. That would require more knowledge than we have of the financial interconnectedness of the seven emirates that make up the UAE.
Reuters reports that the IMF answers that question in the affirmative – sort of:
Masood Ahmed, director for the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, told reporters the IMF was looking at revising down its forecast for the UAE's non-oil gross domestic product to "significantly lower" than the 3 percent it had projected in October. That would still be higher than the close to zero forecast the IMF has forecast for the UAE in 2009.
And we don’t even want to try to fathom the IMF’s forecasts. However:
Despite the turmoil surrounding the Dubai crisis, Ahmed said he did not anticipate the UAE would need any financial support from the IMF and could easily deal with the fallout with its own resources.
That sounds guardedly positive. And it gives more heft to this report:
The United States and the United Arab Emirates are expected to sign a deal, Thursday, to make the Gulf kingdom the first Arab nation to have its own nuclear program. … The cooperation is being done in conjunction with the International Nuclear Energy Agency (IAEA). … UAE leaders claim that nuclear power is needed to meet future energy demands.
We agree. This is the culmination of the 123 agreement between the US and UAE, which will allow trade of nuclear technologies between the countries. Since Congress has not raised an objection to the treaty, it takes force today. So welcome to the family, UAE.
123 refers to the section of the Atomic Energy Act that allows for nuclear trade between other countries and the US. An earlier one was finalized and signed by the Bush administration and India. The treaty doesn’t carry any kind of exclusive arrangement. Thus:
India and Canada has concluded negotiations on a Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement through which the countries will collaborate on how to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
And India has been busy making such agreements all over the globe:
India has reached civil nuclear cooperation agreements with France, USA, Russia, Namibia, Mongolia and Argentina. Prior to this decision, civil nuclear cooperation with India had been hampered by the NSG's Guidelines for nuclear transfers first elaborated in 1978," stated an official release.
NSG is the Nuclear Suppliers Group, which issued approval for India to engage in such trade. (Important because India’s a non-signatory to non-proliferation agreements, usually a prerequisite to such a decision from the NSG.)
These various agreement help us to remember that nuclear energy is zipping right along – with exceptional potential to help India meet its greenhouse emission gas reduction targets.
And speaking of such reductions, COP15, which would provide guidelines for them, has become so – well, chaotic is too strong. Let Yvo de Boer, the chief UN climate official, have a go at it:
[de Boer] admitted Wednesday evening that negotiations had unexpectedly stalled and said that the next 24 hours would be crucial.
That’s a little blah, especially since de Boer often has a nice way with words. Ah, here we go:
"The cable car has made an unexpected stop," De Boer told journalists. On Monday he had said that the "cable car" was halfway up the mountain and that the rest of the ride would be "fast, smooth and relaxing."
Well, we can hope – might yet be some frayed cable that needs replacing to prevent a steep plummet into an abyss.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is currently in Copenhagen, with President Obama following tomorrow. More on that at the link.
Speaking of COP15, NEI’s Paul Genoa has participated in a podcast with Lloyd’s Register. This was recorded in Copenhagen but focuses much more on nuclear energy’s role and potential in this country. Well worth listening to as a state-of-the-industry primer – a transcript is available, too. Lloyd’s Register is doing a whole series of podcasts. See what else interests you while you’re over there. (These are basic mp3s, by the way. No iPod required.)
Yvo de Boer. We know Mr. de Boer is good at what he does, but we do wonder if he’s ever tempted to put his head down on the podium for a good, rattling cry.