Prone to be the target of attack, the UAE nuclear power plant sparked controversy



DUBAI – After launching an unmanned mission to Mars, Uni Emirat Arab (UEA) became the first country in the Middle East to have a nuclear power plant (PLTN). The first project was launched by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Company (ENEC) and sparked controversy because it was considered unsafe and dangerous to society.

The most obvious threat is an attack on nuclear facilities in the Middle East. There have been at least 13 air strikes on nuclear facilities there or more from countries in other parts of the world.

PLTN is indeed an easy target for rival attacks. Moreover, last year, the oil facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais in Saudi Arabia were attacked in the form of 18 drones and seven missiles. UEA As the main Saudi coalition, the country is very vulnerable to being the target of attacks, either by Iran or their enemy, namely the Houthi rebels in Yemen. (Read: UEA has an ambition to build a colony on Mars in 2117)

Geopolitical and security factors in the Middle East are the most obvious threats to nuclear power plants. Moreover, it seems that part of the world community is still traumatized by the leakage of power plants. That risk is not really a consideration for the UAE in developing nuclear power plants.

The UAE is a country that keeps its distance from the behavior of other Arab countries by not making uranium enrichment. They also agreed to the Additional Protocol to the United Nations nuclear monitoring agency by increasing inspection capacity. The UAE also cooperates with the United States (US) which allows nuclear development for civilian interests.

Even though the UAE has abundant gas and petroleum reserves, they are still pouring massive funds to develop alternative energy, including nuclear and solar power. Experts question why the UAE does not focus on developing solar and wind power, rather than nuclear which is expensive and risky, rather than domestic sustainable sources. (Read: Fun, PLN Free Electricity Tokens in August Can Be Claimed)

When UEA announced the Barakah PLTN project in 2009, nuclear country is indeed cheaper than solar and wind power. However, in 2012, when the UAE started building nuclear reactors, investment in solar and wind electricity was actually cheaper and decreased dramatically. In 2009-2019, the investment cost of administrative energy fell 89% and wind energy fell by 43%. Meanwhile, the investment cost for nuclear power plants increased to 26%.

University College London Energy Institute researcher Paul Dorfman criticized the Barakah reactor for its cheap design and quality. He revealed the Barakah reactor did not have the ability to ward off leaks. The reactor also does not have a Generation III Defense-In-Depth capable of withstanding missile attacks. “In fact, the two powers have become the standard for new nuclear reactors being built in Europe,” said Dorfman.

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