Called Watts-Bar-2, the unit located at Tennessee joins another 99 reactors there to supply nearly 20% of America’s electricity. However, lengthy construction times for nuclear power plants is not the norm elsewhere.
This year, the Arabian Peninsula is expected to be partly nuclear powered, as the first of the United Arab Emirates’ four reactors will be ready following five years of construction by the South Koreans. According to the World Nuclear Association, Saudi Arabia is planning to construct 16 reactors over the next 20 years at a cost of more than US$80bil (RM356bil).
The Arab justification for nuclear is simple: free up more oil to be exported, and prevent more carbon dioxide from being emitted. In UAE’s case, going nuclear is expected to prevent 12 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year, says the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.
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