[Nuclear Symposium] No safe guaranteed in using nuclear power no matter how peaceful it may be

At the time the Gulf States were racing to get the Western satisfaction on using the nuclear power in peaceful ways, and make use of the stack of oil wealth in running the European and American economy, the disaster of Japan came as a bomb blowing away the Gulf ambitions and the western desires. Some countries (like Oman) backed off from the road to a nuclear state, while others being committed to certain agreements and interests continued on the way they thought would ensure their excellence: being a nuclear state.

The Japanese disaster made many reconsider this type of energy that many countries solely depended on. Seeing also the lack of trust between the West and Iran, the first doesn’t want a new member in the nuclear power club especially if it’s a country like Iran, and the second keeps repeating their eligibility to have a nuclear peaceful usage despite how the West keeps forcing sanctions on it that clearly damages the economy.

Even if it’s safe to talk about using the nuclear power peacefully, approaching it won’t be 100 percent peaceful without some very big risks. As when disasters happen they also demolish the good effects of using nuclear power. This alone was enough to make Europe reconsider their peaceful nuclear reactors as Fukushima reactor, wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. This giant that the human for so long claimed to have complete control on is starting to get out of control.

While Europe reconsidering their nuclear status due to the Japanese disaster, many Gulf States announced their intentions to own nuclear reactors to have the power supply they need when they’re building towers and cities, in the post-oil era.

The West was already prepared to supply these countries with the sources they’d need, who knew how to make use of the huge reserves that the oil’s sky-rocketing prices has to offer. The Gulf and West fears alike started to clearly show whenever the Iranian nuclear program started to fade away or seemed to get some settlements.

Many Gulf States announced that they’d signed agreements that’d let them import some peaceful nuclear reactors, and the West seemed to be completely supportive of such move. Maybe due to several reasons, like it’d be under their complete control, it’d offer millions to pump up their economy, and the race on having nuclear power would be inspiring for more to come.

The question is, is having nuclear power among Gulf States really safe?

Or will it be another pressure card for the West to use at any time? As the countries who wish to have nuclear power don’t have the qualifications and experiences needed, that the west took decades to achieve. Also the oil money by itself isn’t enough to run a complete nuclear project this complex, no matter how good their intentions were.

It seems that the main reason why these states want nuclear power is for consumption purpose. Peaceful nuclear power might be important but it takes more than just signing an agreement, it has a very complicated making process also it means that your country science project should be totally prepared for it. Even for one of the most advanced countries, Japan, even with their precautions and technologies, that didn’t stop the disaster from expanding to vast areas, so where are we from something like that?

Is it for political reasons or the Qatari ambition to have nuclear power in the Gulf?

Tomorrow’s questions might be harsher than yesterday’s answers after seeing Japan’s disaster which is somehow similar to Chernobyl and it means that having peaceful nuclear power isn’t necessarily safe.


*This material is part of those announced in the 2012 International AJA Forum held last October under the title of  the role of news media to sustain the effect of 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. The forum was supported by the Korea Press Foundation.

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