Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Nuclear Powered Kuwait?

News reports are recently re-shifting some of the pressure on the dissolved parliment by discussing Kuwait's recently-revealed plans to jointly develop and launch a Nuclear Power Plant in Kuwati, with French assistance. That's quite a departure from traditional schools of thought, which profess Kuwait's near-invulnerability to any energy needs-save the expenses to run & maintain them-thanks to the vast quantities of Oil that we're blessed with.

No more!

Kuwaiti politicians are finally listening to the Scientists, that one day, Oil will eventually run out, and we'd be powered down back to the stone age. The problem is, we're only thinking in the box about this.

It's not just Kuwait that's dependant on Oil for power, it's the rest of the GCC countries. In fact, the only country posed not to think about Oil as a source of energy is Iran...believe it or not...since they've already put thier first Nuclear Reactor online, with North Korean & Chinese assistance, and against the resistence efforts of the entire world, led by the U.S.A.

I suspect that, one day, Iran will start to sell electricity to it's neighbours (us!) and thus, directly control our power needs, and by derivation, our lives...yes, it's THAT serious, and it's also possible.

Now, it's no secret that I personally disagree with many of MP Tabtebai's statements and policies, but his recent commentary makes complete sense-in some parts. While I disagree about the concept of renewable energy as a primary source of energy production, such as Solar and Wind, due to it's interruptable nature, not to mention the high cost of maintenance and installation (due to it being a new type of technology), I do agree that it should be used as a complementary resource, like many European countries.

But more to the point, why build a Nuclear reactor in such a small country as Kuwait when close by, there is a vast and empty Saudi desert that hosts nothing but sand and desert? If the GCC had a proper mindest, it's leaders should consider studying and implementing a joint venture, whereby they all pitch in-land, labour, capital, the works-and build a large, well-established and well-protected Nuclear Power Generator, capable of feeding all 6 GCC countries. The efforts would be tremendous, but the benefits would outweigh them by a large margin within a few years after it's activation.

The top-level advantages would be:
1-Cheaper power (better economies)
2-Less Pollution (addresses global warming, Health, global warming)
3-Independence (better security)
4-Better Resource Management (Oil consumption would be diverted for export, thereby improving revenue streams)
5-More Jobs (GCC scientists would be exposed to related Nuclear technologies closer to home)
6-Political co-dependance (GCC countries would be truly cooperative)
7-Safety (A nuclear meltdown in the desert is way more preferable than one in Subbiya!)
8-Demographic development (Society can expand to newer residential areas without worrying about added cost of power generation)
9-Military awareness (The GCC Armed forces can be co-trained on protection & emergency situations related to Nuclear resources within a theatre of battle)
10-Counter-weight to Regional Threats (Iran, Israel would think twice before deciding to make any aggressive moves)

That last point is an off-shoot from the Cold War, but it's as real and as crucial as life and death! And if you're reading this and thinking about the movie "The China Syndrome", think again, since technology has developed to the better since the '70's!

All in all, I think this is a very critical subject, one that deserves mention in the upcoming elections, since whoever raises this issue (a Joint GCC Nuclear Power station) will-in my opinion-have more insight into the subject, farther than what he reads in the local newspapers, that by itself is a sign of intelligence among the present basket of candidates!

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