[ RadSafe ] Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia

blreider at aol.com blreider at aol.com
Sun Aug 22 18:04:11 CDT 2010

Thank you for adding to this discussion.   Being pro-nuclear does not necessarily mean one is anti-other forms of energy production or not environmentally friendly.  When the issue of Saudi Arabia (SA) nukes came up I thought - why? SA has lots of land and sun plus oil.  The population density is not huge  http://www.mongabay.com/igapo/world_statistics_by_area.htm.  Solar seems ideal for that environment, and I have read that SA is using solar for all sorts of things.  

Dose from Coal Fire:  I performed the dose calculations in the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 1978 fuel use act so perhaps I can add to the point regarding radionuclide emissions. The EIS concluded that increased coal use (rather than using oil based fuels) would increase dose to the public.  It was my personal observation at the time that the doses to the population due to coal fire plants (fly ash) were higher than those I had seen and calculated for normally operating nuclear power plants.  I believe the reason was that the coal fie plants were located closer to population centers and fly ash contained a number of alpha emitters.  Of course back then there were not as many environmental controls on the emissions as there are today.  We were using older models and data than are used today including ICRP 2 & USNRC RG 1.109 incorporated in the beta version of RESRAD developed at Argonne by Dr. Yuchien Yuan and others.  I cannot find a link to that EIS or I would post it.  Please don't ask me what "higher" means in terms of numbers, I don't recall.

Life Cycle Cost:  I don't know if the numbers provided by DOE in my lined references include total life cycle of any of the electric generation methods.   http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/

For a few years I have tried to figure out whether solar panels or a small wind generator would be cost effective for my house.   I think these methods of generation in my area lend themselves to small production rather commercial power production.  This is just a guess.  We don't get much sun and the area is medium to high population density (suburban and cities).  When I tried to find out cost-effectiveness I was barraged with more sales pitches and a little information. Solar was quite costly even without the vendors including some of the upkeep costs I can anticipate like tree branches occasionally breaking panels. I found zoning laws might prohibit private wind generation although many towns are using wind generators to provide energy for local projects.  It would be easy to require new medium and low density housing and commercial buildings to be built using passive solar technology which has been around for centuries (well at least 40 years).  Local governments don't seem to be doing that.   So although renewable energy methods hold promise thus far they do not provide a local solution in the northeast.  


Barbara Reider, CHP

-----Original Message-----
From: ROY HERREN <royherren2005 at yahoo.com>
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Sun, Aug 22, 2010 3:50 pm
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia

    Is your statement, "Solar costs can not really compete with nuclear power 
lant costs over the long haul", a fact or "just your opinion"?  I too am an 
dvocate for Nuclear Power, however I don't seem to recall a government subsidy 
or the fuel and waste cycle costs for Solar, and to the best of my knowledge 
he decommissioning costs for Solar aren't even close to being comparable to the 
decommissioning costs of Nuclear Power.  If we are going to have a discussion of 
the merits of a particular energy source I think that we should include the 
ntire life-cycle costs.  For instance, I can't believe that protesters are 
egularly complaining about the disposal of nuclear wastes while mountains of 
oal fly ash accumulate around the country.  It is also baffling that using coal 
emits more radioactivity in the form of radon and other isotopes in a typical 
ear than Nuclear power emits, but there doen't appear to be a group protesting 
his fact.  Then there is my pet peeve of mercury emissions from coal.  Clearly 
e put up with a lot of otherwise unacceptable conditions because coal is a 
egacy energy source.  I don't think that we should fall into the lagacy trap 
hen comparing Nuclear Power to Solar Power.  Solar thermal holds much promise, 
nd Solar electric has the potential to be a real game changer.  
 Roy Herren 

rom: Stewart Farber <radproject at sbcglobal.net>
o: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List 
radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
ent: Sun, August 22, 2010 8:36:21 AM
ubject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia
Quick thoughts on the question. I should really just be reading the NYTimes. 
egarding building a nuke for Saudi domestic electricity. It is 
worth much more for the Saudis to meet their own electric needs with the
tom, and keep their oil in the ground for long-term revenue from their good 
riends 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 
has failed to be started because of political 
nfighting and lack of will. 
The US has reacted to the terrible Gulf spill by shutting down much of the oil 
roduction 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 
rilling in the Gulf and other areas like Alaska, but it can be done with less 
verall environmental impact vs. the true impact of the security threats to the 
S posed by our oil dependence on foreign nations who exploit this dependence. 
lso our oil dependence has forced the US to get involved in wars like Kuwait 
nd the Iraq war which have isolated the US and hurt us in so many ways  --I 
on't want to open a tangential debate on oil demand driven wars. However,  it 
s 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 
n 1974. Oil supply and Western demand gives the Saudis power to influence world 

The Saudis also will gain some regard with environmental interests 
utside their country by being able to show they are meeting their 
nergy needs without CO-2 emissions.
Regarding solar. The Saudi government would not be getting "tax credits" from 
he State to build a solar electric plant that could put out 1100 MW[e], like 
rivate developers get throughout the world from their host nations, paid for by 
the taxpayers.  Solar development cost & benefits is largely a shell game and 
he Saudis know it. If they built a large solar electric power plant, the 
acility would actually have to pay for itself. Solar costs can not really 
ompete 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 
hreat to their sale of oil to the US and other major buyers. Nuclear plants 
ould have had a real impact on long-term oil [and LNG] use in the West. In 
972, the plans were to have one-thousand [1,000]  1,000 MW[e] plants in the US 
y the year 2000 and perhaps another 200 by 2010. . Do the math. If the US had 
,000 more 1,000 MW[e] plants maybe we could actually supply electricity to run 
lectric cars and make a dent in our oil imports for use in transportation. We 
ould also be saving our own oil for use as petrochemical feedstocks rather than 
just BTUs.

Stewart Farber, MS Public Health
Farber Medical Solutions, LLC
inac & 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>
ubject: [ RadSafe ] Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia
o: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
ate: Sunday, August 22, 2010, 10:08 AM


he Shaw Group, Inc., Toshiba & Execelon are planning to work with the Saudis on 
building nuke electric generating plants in Sudi Arabia.  Note that Shaw & 
oshiba own Westinghouse Nuclear, the designer of the AP1000 series nuclear
Question:  With all that sun and all that oil why does Saudi Arabia need 
lectric energy from nuclear fuel?  

arbara Reider, CHP
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