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Fukushima Nightmare makes Kuwait Develop Cold Feet on Nuclear Energy,will UAE and Saudis capitulate as well

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Oil Rich Middle Eastern Nations like Kuwait,UAE and Saudi Arabia have been planning to build nuclear energy plants for quite some time now. They have been extensively engaged in discussions with Asian consortia to supply technology and expertise for building nuclear power plants in their countries. The reason for their nuclear love is that these nations are seeing rapid growth in energy demand. The reason is their fast growing population which is increasing their consumption of oil and gas produced. This is reducing the export dollars from the supply of fossil fuels. The countries want to increase renewable and nuclear power so that they can conserve their depleting supplies of oil for exports. However the Fukushima incident has given some of them cold feet. While countries like Vietnam and China are pressing ahead with their nuclear expansion plans, Japan,Germany,Switzerland have decided to give up nuclear power. Widespread nuclear protests in Germany made the government take the drastic action of stopping a number of nuclear reactors. Kuwait Develops Cold Feet on Nuclear Energy,will UAE and Saudies capitulate as well

The backlash against the new and existing Nuclear Power Plants has started in different places around the world despite defiant expressions by Nuclear Plant Owners and Operators.While China and Italian utility Enel have said that they will go ahead with their billion dollar investment plans,Switzerland and Germany have put nuclear plant extensions on hold.Note Germany had extended the life of Nuclear Plants in the country by 10 years after extensive lobbying by the Nuclear Industry.This had led to huge protests from the Opposition Greens but the government had gone ahead in order to reduce Power Costs.However Merkel has been forced to eat humble pie and has said that a 3 month review will be done to check the safety of the Nuclear Reactors.Switzerland has also come out and put the plans for new Nuclear Reactors on Freeze.

UAE and Saudi Arabia are the other two nations in advanced planning stages with UAE having finalied a Korean consurtium , however the Kuwait about turn may make them think about their nuclear plans as well. Iran wants nuclear power at all costs but that has to do with its nuclear weapon plans as well I think. Nuclear Energy which supplies more tha n15% of the global electricity is coming under massive attack because of its huge tail risk and fast increasing costs.

Oil Rich Middle Easter Countries like Saudi Arabia,Kuwait and UAE all have announced ambitious Nuclear Energy Plans.These countries have huge reserves of Oil and Gas so it seems strange that they are dabbling in Nuclear Power.The reason given for their interest in Nuclear Plants is that they want to preserve their Oil Resources for export and not consume them for Domestic Energy.Kuwait consumes 12% of its more than 3 million barrels of Oil on Electricity Production.While its prohibitively expensive to burn oil to turn turbines for a normal country,its not an issue for Kuwait which is literally swimming in dirt cheap oil.The country has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with less than .001% of the global population owning 7.6% of the Global Oil Reserves.Nuclear Equipment Suppliers like Toshiba,GE-Hitachi,Mitsubishi and Areva have all latched onto this opportunity

South Korea Surprisingly Wins the $20 Billion Deal from UAE

Economic Diplomacy is being heavily deployed by the companies to win over these lucrative contracts.South Korea’s aggressive PM flew to UAE to win a $20 Billion contract outfoxing formidable players USA,Japan and Russia.South Korea does not have much heft in international geopolitics despite being one of the world’s biggest economies.South Korea in fact is heavily depended on US for its Security against North Korea.Building Nuclear Plants requires strong lobbying by influential countries like France,Russia and USA so a South Korean Win came out of the blue.The reason for their win is said to be the much lower cost quoted by the Korean Consortium led by Korean Electric which edged out GE and Areva led bidders.South Korea hopes to establish its Nuclear Energy Prowess through the UAE Deal and was prepared to quote low in order to win.

Nuclear Energy Advantages vs Disadvantages

Nuclear Energy is currently forcing a major rethink amongst the world governments as the Japanese Nuclear Accident sharply brings into focus the massive radioactive and poisoning risks from accidental damage to a nuclear reactors.Note this is not the first such incident nor is it going to be the last.The advantages of Nuclear Energy is being sharply reexamined by the policymakers vs the huge risks of a nuclear plant meltdown.Most  countries have started reviewing their nuclear plants for safety with a number shutting down old nuclear reactors.The drawing plans of new nuclear plants is also on hold as safety regulations are strengthened.Nuclear Energy accounts for around 15% of the world’s production of electricity and for some countries like France there is no alternative in the short term with 80% of the electricity coming from nuclear reactors.China has a huge target for nuclear energy of 80 GW by 2020 but that too is coming under attack with a NDRC official talking about lowering it by substituting it with other renewable energy sources like solar energy.Here are the Nuclear Energy Advantages vs Disadvantages.

Kuwait scraps nuclear power in light of 3/11

Kuwait is no longer pursuing nuclear power following the disaster in Japan, scrapping a plan last July to build four reactors by 2022, officials of a Kuwaiti government research body said Tuesday Nuclear energy was intended to be part of Kuwait’s strategy to preserve its oil resources and it had set up a national nuclear energy committee in 2009. But in July, four months after the radiation-leaking crisis broke out at the Fukushima plant following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Emir Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah issued an order to dissolve the committee, according to Osama Al-Sayegh, a research scientist at the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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