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2012 Anton Khlopkov, Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Middle East after Fukushima and the Arab Spring 1 (2012)

handle is hein.unl/pnumif0001 and id is 1 raw text is: PROSPECTS FOR NUCLEAR POWER IN THE MIDDLE



Anton Khlopkov1
Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS)
Moscow, Russia

As of September 2010 there were 441 nuclear power reactors in operation in 29
countries according to the IAEA. The share of nuclear energy in overall electricity
generation was the highest in Western Europe (almost 27%); it was zero in the
Middle East. The IAEA report in question also stated that 65 countries had
announced their interest in developing nuclear energy2. About a fifth of these
countries were in the Middle East. The nuclear energy option was being looked
at not only by the countries that have considered that option for decades (such
as Egypt and Turkey), but also by new countries such as Jordan. Only Lebanon
had not expressed any interest in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Twelve nuclear energy reactors were halted in Japan and other countries in 2011
as a result of the Fukushima accident. On a global scale, the installed nuclear
generation capacity went down from 375GW to 368GW, and the number of
energy reactors in operation fell to 435 as of September 2012.' But according to
IAEA projections, the nuclear incident in Japan will merely slow down the growth
of the nuclear energy industry as opposed to reversing it.4 In his September
2012 report IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said that 18 months after the
accident it was clear that nuclear energy would remain an important option for
many countries. The latest IAEA projections show a steady rise in the number of
nuclear power plants in the world over the next 20 years.5 According to the IAEA,
most of the nuclear energy newcomers, i.e. countries considering the possibility
of building their first nuclear power plant, are planning to press ahead with the
implementation of these programmes.
In this context it would be interesting to look at the impact of the Fukushima
accident on the Middle Eastern countries' nuclear energy plans. Another thing
to consider is the effects of the processes and transformations that began in the
region in late 2010-early 2011, known collectively as the Arab Spring.
1  This article is based on early results of the study Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Middle
East after Fukushima and the Arab Spring. Challenges and Opportunities for Russia, which is
being conducted by the Center for Energy and Security Studies (CENESS) with the support of the
Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club.
2   IAEA, International Status and Prospects of Nuclear Power, 2011, p. 4.
3   IAEA, International Status and Prospects of Nuclear Power 2012, document GOV/INF/2012/12-
GC(56)/INF/6, August 2012, p. 1.
4   Ibid.
5  Statement to Fifty-Sixth Regular Session of IAEA General Conference 2012 by IAEA
Director General Yukiya Amano, Vienna, 17 September 2012, <www.iaea.org/newscenter/
stateme nts/2012/amsp2012nO12.htm I>.


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