As global electricity demand continues to grow, nuclear power is retaining popularity among some countries, including 28 that have expressed interest in introducing it.
The UAE is a nuclear proponent, with its project in Barakah, in Al Gharbia, progressing steadily.
Unit 1, which started construction in 2012, will become operational next year. At its full operational capacity, the power plant’s four reactors will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs from carbon-free energy.
Of the 30 countries already operating nuclear power plants, 13 are either constructing new reactors or are actively completing previously suspended projects, and 16 have either plans or proposals for further nuclear energy.
“Nuclear power's advantage as a zero-carbon energy source and as an efficient way of covering large energy needs, not least in rapidly developing economies, will speak in favour of the use of nuclear power in a number of countries,” said Dr John Bernhard, Denmark’s former envoy to the IAEA. “So, altogether, I think that globally, we will see a rather diverse picture, influenced both by specific national circumstances and safety, security and financing.”
Although altering the slowdown in advanced, democratic countries might prove difficult, nuclear is still seen as a viable option.
“[This is the case] for those serious about global warming and if a major technological breakthrough does not happen in the renewable field,” said Nobuyasu Abe, vice chairman of the Japan Atomic Energy Commission. “The challenge is how to keep the nuclear industry in those countries surviving until the time comes when its value is appreciated again.”