GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Nuclear Energy for the Gulf: Is It so Simple?
Paper Proposal Text :

GCC countries have been spending much effort to transform their fossil fuel dependent structure not only in the economic sense but also in terms of energy . Electricity generation remains as the key field where diversification of energy sources can be realized most effectively. In this vein, the use of nuclear energy in the Gulf Region has been discussed a lot and even some serious steps have been taken as in the case of the UAE. However, how much nuclear energy can replace oil and gas in the Gulf is still disputable. Despite nuclear power plants' (NPP) obvious supremacy for environment and technological advancement, short term economic advantages of oil and gas use due to their abundance in the region as well as NPPs' high fixed costs make the desired transformation of energy mix even more difficult for the case of nuclear energy. Discussing these facts in detail, this paper evaluates the current or aimed nuclear programs of the GCC members where there is any. The role of the state and state owned companies, construction and operation models (such as build-own-operate, build-operate-transfer, and so on) and financing methods of NPPs, natural limits (landsacape, demand restrictions etc.) to dissemination of the use of nuclear energy, the future of oil and gas (prices, reserves, new relevant technologies, and so on) are focused on particularly as they are amongst the key factors to resolve the mentioned dispute. The paper argues that it is not easy for the Gulf countries to achieve a sound change in the energy mix with the help of nuclear energy unless many tough conditions are satisfied at the same time.

Key Words: Nuclear energy in the Gulf, fossil fuel dependency, transformation of energy mix