[ RadSafe ] Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia

Stewart Farber radproject at sbcglobal.net
Sun Aug 22 10:36:21 CDT 2010

Quick thoughts on the question. I should really just be reading the NYTimes. Regarding building a nuke for Saudi domestic electricity. It is 
worth much more for the Saudis to meet their own electric needs with the
 atom, and keep their oil in the ground for long-term revenue from their good friends in the West. The Saudis must get a good laugh when they hear the term "energy independence" by the US, which is a lovely phrase since 'Carter, but which 
has failed to be started because of political 
infighting and lack of will. 

The US has reacted to the terrible Gulf spill by shutting down much of the oil production and drilling in the Gulf, leading to greater oil imports, and putting tens of thousands of US workers into joblessness. I'm not for endless oil drilling in the Gulf and other areas like Alaska, but it can be done with less overall environmental impact vs. the true impact of the security threats to the US posed by our oil dependence on foreign nations who exploit this dependence. Also our oil dependence has forced the US to get involved in wars like Kuwait and the Iraq war which have isolated the US and hurt us in so many ways  --I don't want to open a tangential debate on oil demand driven wars. However,  it is clear energy/oil imports by the US has vast security implications.

The US is importing far more oil now than at the time of the first oil embargo in 1974. Oil supply and Western demand gives the Saudis power to influence world actions.

The Saudis also will gain some regard with environmental interests 
outside their country by being able to show they are meeting their 
energy needs without CO-2 emissions.

Regarding solar. The Saudi government would not be getting "tax credits" from the State to build a solar electric plant that could put out 1100 MW[e], like private developers get throughout the world from their host nations, paid for by the taxpayers.  Solar development cost & benefits is largely a shell game and the Saudis know it. If they built a large solar electric power plant, the facility would actually have to pay for itself. Solar costs can not really compete with nuclear power plant costs over the long haul.

During the 1970s, it has been well documented that the Saudis funded antinuclear groups in the West because they saw nuclear power plant development to be a threat to their sale of oil to the US and other major buyers. Nuclear plants could have had a real impact on long-term oil [and LNG] use in the West. In 1972, the plans were to have one-thousand [1,000]  1,000 MW[e] plants in the US by the year 2000 and perhaps another 200 by 2010. . Do the math. If the US had 1,000 more 1,000 MW[e] plants maybe we could actually supply electricity to run electric cars and make a dent in our oil imports for use in transportation. We could also be saving our own oil for use as petrochemical feedstocks rather than just BTUs.

Stewart Farber, MS Public Health

Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
Linac & Imaging Equipment Brokerage

Bridgeport, CT 06604

[203] 441-8433 [office]

website: http://www.farber-medical.com

--- On Sun, 8/22/10, blreider at aol.com <blreider at aol.com> wrote:

From: blreider at aol.com <blreider at aol.com>
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Date: Sunday, August 22, 2010, 10:08 AM


The Shaw Group, Inc., Toshiba & Execelon are planning to work with the Saudis on building nuke electric generating plants in Sudi Arabia.  Note that Shaw & Toshiba own Westinghouse Nuclear, the designer of the AP1000 series nuclear

Question:  With all that sun and all that oil why does Saudi Arabia need electric energy from nuclear fuel?  

Barbara Reider, CHP
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