Arab Nuclear Energy is Important Option for the Future

  • 29 April 2007

The recent Arab Summit held in Riyadh endorsed the option of development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in the Arab world. Ministers of Energy from the Arab world recently agreed on forming an action group to address the desire expressed at the Summit and put it into force. Moreover, the Arab parliament called for a collective Arab program to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. All this suggests an Arab awareness of the significance of nuclear energy and the need to invest in it, in light of the fact that it is a viable and fundamental option that falls within the purview of development plans for the future.

Although using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in the Arab world were initiated in the backdrop of certain political factors in the first place, the move should be pursued without considering extraneous factors, but should be based on the needs for Arab development in both the medium and long terms. It is equally important that the matter be separated from other issues, such as the Iranian nuclear file. Arabs should invest in the field of nuclear energy based on objective factors linked to the real and compelling concerns. Nuclear energy is the energy resource of the future, which many countries around the world are vying to develop and possess.

Although the existence of oil in the Arab world may prompt some people to wonder of the Arab need to develop nuclear energy, there are several reasons that warrant the pursuit of the nuclear option for peaceful purposes by Arabs. Firstly, the primary source of energy in the Arab world is oil, which is a non-renewable resource. Therefore, there is need to develop a viable alternative to the fuel prior to its exhaustion, so that the level of development achieved is protected. Secondly, the Arab region suffers from an acute shortage of water. Hence, it has the largest number of water desalination plants in the world. It takes a lot of energy to run these plants. Therefore, there is a compelling need to diversify the energy resources needed to run these plants, as one cannot rely entirely on a precious and strategic commodity for running them. Water affects the life of societies and their survival. Therefore, there is a strong case for developing nuclear energy in the Arab world. Thirdly, the Arab population is increasing exponentially and the rate of social and economic development is also steadily growing, which has put a strain on current energy resources. This calls for diversification of energy resources, such as nuclear energy, which has become a viable international option to meet growing energy needs.