Arabian Business Weekly Update 14th September 2004

The world is heading towards nuclear power generation. Does the US have the right to stop the trend?

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By  Elizabeth Drachman Published  September 14, 2004

Editorial Leader|~||~||~|

Nuclear fall out

It appears the world is going headlong into nuclear power, and there’s not much that can be done to stop it. If nations are to abide by the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear power can be a quick and reliable fix. The United Arab Emirates has taken the reins on this movement and announced this week its plans to build the first nuclear power plant in the Gulf. The plant should help the rapidly expanding country double its power production by 2010 by producing 100 megawatts of electricity and 40 million gallons of water a day, according to studies. The United States so far has been mum on the topic. Historically it has protested the building of nuclear power plants in the Middle East. It is presently urging Russia not help Iran build a plant; the US claims it is part of a larger weapons plan. All indications show that Russia will not relent to the pressure, and plans are going forward for Iran’s first nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, US ally, the United Kingdom, has announced that future nuclear power plants are not out of the question. A British Department of Trade and Industry official announced that nuclear power will have to provide half of Britain’s electricity if the nation is to reduce greenhouse emissions. Nuclear power currently provides a fifth of Britain’s electricity, but the nation’s nuclear power plants are ageing and will be closed down progressively from 2008, according to an article published in UK-based The Times newspaper. The US has already made its displeasure known about the building of nuclear plants in North Korea, Iran and Russia. No doubt negative vibes will soon follow the UAE’s plans. But what about Britain? So far US President George Bush has been silent. If he chooses to remain silent on the nuclear power schemes of his closest ally, he has no right to intervene on those of others. ||**||

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