Nuclear Power Back on the Table?

Post by Mark


I thought Kuwait had canceled plans to build a nuclear power plant but a Russian company just applied for a building permit so they could construct one.

The Russian state corporation Rosatom has applied for building permit for construction of the nuclear power plant in Kuwait, announced the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak. Currently, the main talks on the implementation of the project are under way. [Source]

I have mixed feelings about this, I’m pro-nuclear power but in our case, solar kinda makes more sense since its sunny all year round and it’s safer. Nuclear is a lot more practical though:

– Kuwait consumes around 13,000MW of electricity

– The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility in the USA is the largest solar station in the world and it produces 392MW

– The Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant in Japan is the largest in the world and produces 7,965 MW

So one nuclear power plant could supply more than 60% of Kuwait’s power needs while the largest solar station would supply just 3%.

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26 comments, add your own...

  1. Riba says:

    If only people could get educated about the importance of saving energy, the consumption amount would probably halve. I guess a hefty electrical bills would educate them fast enough, but I don’t see that happening. It is more likely another nuclear power plant will get built to power all the diwaniyas 24/7. :)

  2. Crumble says:

    You actually did a lot of research and calculations, YET you still somehow said solar kind of makes sense? How does it make any sense at all!

    I’m not pro nuclear either, simply because I know that in Kuwait Homer Simpson will be at the controls.

  3. khaled says:

    if theres a will theres a way we defintley have an abundance of sunlight, if they want to build the worlds largest ever solar plant that would make at least 10,000 MW they could, the technology is becoming more efficient every year,

    they could start by making govt. house green maybe using the tesla solar batteries and so on,

    on the other hand, if they are going to build their silk city then they will need even more sources of power. however again, if we cant quality control a sewage plant, then why should we trust the govt with a nuclear plant.

  4. Markus McCool says:

    Photovoltaic cella have decreasing efficiency as temperature increases.

  5. Ipsom says:

    I don’t think nuclear is the answer for us, mainly because the country is very small so getting rid of the extremely hazardous waste in a safe place will be risky… also this requires a very high skill and knowledge from the workers in the ENTIRE factory…

    I think renewable energy has potential here

  6. WI says:

    All the towers can have their tinted glass as solar panels.

  7. NG says:

    They should have wooed Elon Musk to build a Solar City here instead.

  8. Kuwait says:

    I don’t think this will pass in the parliament, plus the incompetence involved in running a nuclear power plant.

  9. Yousef says:

    Tengger Desert Solar Park China 1,547MWp
    Datong Solar Power Top Runner Base China 1,000MWp
    Kurnool Ultra Mega Solar Park India 1,000MWp
    Longyangxia Dam Solar Park China 850MWp

    You need to hire a fact checker.

      • Mark says:

        just checked your link and you’re right as well. I guess there are different types of solar stations.

        • Dirty Dan says:

          Solar Thermal – uses mirrors to focus sunlight onto a structure to heat it up causing steam for power generation

          Photo-voltaic – those black panels that generate electricity (the ones most of us think about when you hear solar power)

          Personally, I’m against Russian Nuclear power because, I believe, their design is still fail-on!! If something gets too hot, you can’t shut down the reaction and it’s Chernobyl all over again. As opposed to some of the other technology out there where the reactors shut down when too hot (implemented in the US after the Three-Mile Island disaster).

  10. Mu says:

    Yes, we have plenty of sun .. but plenty of dust as well which decreases the effeciency so much.

  11. Khaled Alrashidi says:

    well having an insider info from my brother who is an engineer in the planning department in the ministry .
    kuwait is moving towards solar and planning in 15 years to have 20% of our production from renewable energy .
    nuclear power plant is no longer efficient due to the exuberant maintenance cost and high risk factor , in fact france cancelled over 25 planned nuclear power plants to go for renewable sources .

  12. Mastodon says:

    Solar efficiency decreases with intense heat and lots of dust, as the good people commenting here have been saying

    Nuclear is good and safe as long as every person working there is like seriously serious about being serious and such. Takes a lot of effort and energy to cause a meltdown at a nuclear plant.

    I say throw both ideas out and start working on a THERMONUCLEAR FUSION REACTOR. Very much a fantasy and a distant dream, small chance of that happening, but who knows. A proper reactor like ITER if it ever goes online, can have an output 10 times greater than the energy put in, using science…and magnets… and magic…

  13. Phoebe says:

    Interesting post and comments. I have 3 thoughts:

    1. So we’re missing the elephant in the energy room: wind power. The UK alone is currently producing more than Kuwait’s total annual consumption from their wind farms yearly.

    Kuwait has a very viable wind power potential and several studies have been done (not online sorry I can’t link), with locations in the West, North and South earmarked.

    Combined with solar power and other emerging renewable technologies such as green-tech agriculture and water solutions/waste to energy etc, it is agreed by several experts in Kuwait and abroad that we could be be largely renewable energy based (and possibly even plant-based food self-sufficient!) by 2040 if we so choose.

    2. The other major, major factor is that we need to reduce energy subsidies, like, yesterday already :/ . It has been estimated by experts within Kuwait (and PROVEN in Saudi!) that reducing subsidies can cut domestic consumption of water and electricity almost immediately by around HALF!

    If the government wants to still nanny us, let them do it with other, preferably beneficial incentives but NOT by funding our reckless over-consumption of non-renewable (and highly polluting) precious resources! It makes exactly ZERO sense…

    The future could be very bright and exciting indeed if our priorities were all aligned with the long-term public and global good :)

    3. NO WAY to nuclear yukkkkkk! (interesting concept – partners on the current Kuwait Master Plan

  14. 3azeez says:

    Finding alternative to oil for electricity generation and water desalination made sense when oil prices were high. With the current low prices (which are expected to last for a while) the decision to go through with nuclear does not appear to be fully based on energy security.

    This is clear with the choice of going with the Russian option (over the American, French, Chinese and Korean options despite the fact that some of them have some really good business and personal relations with local ‘businessmen’).

    I think this is more to do with politics and balance of powers in the region. With the current US administration going mad, EU falling apart, and the GCC almost dissolving… this nuclear option has similar idea of the local US military bases.

    Basically, if the news is true… the plan will be built, operated and decommissioned by the Russians themselves. Typically they’d be responsible for the security of the plant as well. So we’re talking about 10 years construction period and 50 or 60 years of operation period.

    Having both Russians and Americans together in Kuwait is going to be interesting xD

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