Analyst sees logistical, political obstacles to Mideast nuclear energy growth

Anton Khlopkov, director of the Energy and Security Center of he International Valdai Discussion Club, this week warned of risks associated with the Middle East's limited professional infrastructure to support nuclear projects.

Khlopkov said
there are nine nuclear facilities with a total of 33 reactors between them set to be built by 2030, and that a lack of what he calls qualified scientists, officials and expertise could be detrimental to nuclear development in the region.

"For the moment, Russia is the biggest builder, judging from the number of contracts it has signed, of nuclear power plants in the Middle East,” Khlopkov said. “The Middle East accounts for approximately one third of the portfolio of orders received by the Rosatom State Corporation for Atomic Energy (Rosatom). However, a number of threats existing in this region may introduce negative adjustments to these plans.”

Khlopkov also sees risks of political instability in the region and risks from nearby terrorist threats and war, fearing these could cause major obstacles for nuclear projects in the region.

"This is the main deterrence factor on the way to the economic and energy development of the (Middle East) region, including in the field of atomic energy,” Khlopkov said.

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International Valdai Discussion Club

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