If it is Tuesday….then it must be the Middle East…….
Recently the Trump admin announced that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be getting nuclear energy (thanx to special deals made with MbS by Jared)……I have been writing against this happening
Of course the Saudis did what they ALL do…..claim that they will run out of oil soon and will need an alternative…….
Recent media reports have drawn a lot of attention to Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy ambitions and US nuclear diplomacy toward Riyadh. This explainer provides context and background information in order to better understand the dynamics at play.
Saudi Arabia is interested in the development of a nuclear power programme to meet growing electricity demand and to diversify its energy sources. Riyadh has outlined plans to construct up to 16 large nuclear reactors over the course of 20 to 25 years to provide the kingdom with 17 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2040. Riyadh started soliciting proposals for the construction of two reactors in November 2017 and has been in talks with Russia, China, France, South Korea and the United States. The official tender should be launched in early 2020.
The one thing that got me laughing the loudest was their statement that “they will need to meet a growing electricity demand”….and nukes will provide for that demand…….
Think about that for a moment. (pause here for contemplation)
How much sunshine does the peninsula get yearly? How about the winds from the desert? Maybe think about tidal cycles.
The US needs to act like a global leader and start encouraging these countries off nukes and toward renewables……
Instead of straining to control these programs, or even facilitating them, the U.S. should encourage less risky, cheaper, clean non-nuclear alternatives.
The case for nuclear power in the Middle East has never been strong. First, the national electrical systems there are relatively small. Put large amounts of electricity (nuclear or non-nuclear) on their grids and you risk overloading them and causing blackouts. This is particularly worrisome for nuclear reactors whose safe operation depends on a steady, external supply of electricity to run their coolant and safety systems (think Fukushima).
Second, because large reactors can be used to make nuclear explosive materials, they’re prime military targets. Iran, Israel, and the United States each attacked Iraq’s Osirak reactor (Israel successfully). Iraq bombed Iran’s Bushehr reactor. Egypt and Iraq targeted Israel’s Dimona reactor. Israel successfully bombed Syria’s reactor at Al Kibar, and, more recently, the Iranian-backed Houthis claimed they fired missiles at the UAE’s nuclear reactors. Any such strikes risk radiation releases and rattling even the strongest of regimes to its roots (think the Soviet Union’s political meltdown, catalyzed, in no small part, by Chernobyl). There is also the danger of insider and cyberattacks that could result in catastrophe.
An excellent idea!
Too bad we have NO ONE with the brains or the balls to implement this.