Forums ‘helping to abate nuclear fears’

One uranium pellet contains enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb non-stop for two-and-half years, a community forum in Abu Dhabi was told on Wednesday.
The forum, organised by Enec, was held to educate people about the safe, clean and peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as to offer information on the country’s first nuclear power plant. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National
The forum, organised by Enec, was held to educate people about the safe, clean and peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as to offer information on the country’s first nuclear power plant. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National

ABU DHABI // One uranium pellet contains enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb non-stop for two-and-half years, a community forum in Abu Dhabi was told on Wednesday.

Unlike oil, coal or natural gas, nuclear has a low carbon footprint, with the energy produced by one uranium fuel pellet, roughly the size of a finger tip, equal to that produced by 474 litres of oil, 481 cubic metres of natural gas, or one tonne of coal, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said.

The forum, organised by Enec, was held to educate people about the safe, clean and peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as to offer information on the country’s first nuclear power plant.

Mohammed Al Hammadi, chief executive of Enec, told the audience: “By 2020, nuclear energy production [in the UAE] will reach 25 per cent, which will allow us to save 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year when the country’s fourth nuclear plant becomes operational.”

More than 6,000 people have attended 16 community forums across the country.

Hassan Shorafa, 23, who was in the audience, said he had high hopes for his country’s nuclear industry.

“I hope this project will generate income for the country, bringing in a clean environment and energy to the country,” said the Emirati.

Another Emirati, Marwa Al Shehhi, who hoped to pursue a degree in the field, said misconceptions surrounding nuclear energy had been around for many years. “After Hiroshima, people felt scared when it came to nukes,” she said.

However, through the country’s awareness programmes and various interactions with the community, explaining to people how safe nuclear energy is, these fears are starting to abate, she said.

Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant is on schedule to deliver nuclear energy to the UAE grid by 2017.

anwar@thenational.ae

Published: December 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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