Russian nuclear energy in the Middle East heats up


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Dr. Karen E. Young

Senior Research Scholar, Columbia University, Center on Global Energy Policy


Oct. 11, 2022

Bottom Line:

The MENA region will see a spike in electricity demand of at least 40% by 2030. Meeting that demand while also meeting some ambitious climate goals will require a new energy system of renewable and non-hydrocarbon sources. Nuclear energy for electricity production is becoming more acceptable globally after the Fukushima disaster, and there is a surge of interest, for both political and economic diversification rationales, within the MENA region. There is also a geopolitical impact, as the region veers further from traditional alliance and security partnerships with the United States. Even a partially nuclear-powered region that relies on Russia for reactors, fuel supply and reprocessing will present some challenges to US interests. Just as Gulf oil production is now more closely aligned with Russian objectives, we may also see a regional strategic alliance on nuclear fuel supply, reactor construction and processing underway.

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