Experts

  • Affiliation : Senior Researcher, Center for International Security, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO
  • Position : Consultant
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
  • Affiliation : International Affairs Journal (Russia)
  • Position : Assistant Professor
  • Affiliation : Associate Professor, Department of International Relations and Russian Foreign Policy, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
  • Affiliation : President, President, The Middle East Institute (MEI)
complete list

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Nuclear Energy in the Middle East: Current Developments and Observed Trends

31.05.2013

baklitsky.jpgMOSCOW, MAY 31, 2013. PIR PRESS – “In April of 2008, the government of the United Arab Emirates announced its intention to collect bids to build the country’s first nuclear power plant. Abu Dhabi’s dynamic activity, which concluded with a contract awarded to the South Korean company KEPCO, showed that nuclear energy development in the Middle East will cease to be associated just with the risks and threats of nuclear weapons proliferation and is already becoming another high-yield industrial sector,” – PIR Center research fellow Andrey Baklitsky.

On May 15, 2013, the PIR Center held one of its Midweek Brainstorming Sessions with a presentation by PIR Center research fellow Andrey Baklitsky on “Nuclear Energy in the Middle East: Current Developments and Observed Trends.”

Attendees included Associate Professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy at MGIMO Ildar Akhtamzyan, Director of the Middle East Institute Efim Zhigun, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) Nataliya Kalinina, President of the Middle East Institute Evgeny Satanovsky, Editor for the International Affairs journal Andrey Torin, and PIR Center staff members.

According to Andrey Baklitsky, “In April of 2008, the government of the United Arab Emirates announced its intention to collect bids to build the country’s first nuclear power plant. Abu Dhabi’s dynamic activity, which concluded with a contract awarded to the South Korean company KEPCO, showed that nuclear energy development in the Middle East will cease to be associated just with the risks and threats of nuclear weapons proliferation and is already becoming another high-yield industrial sector.

Five years have passed since then. During that time, Iran started the first nuclear power plant in the region – Bushehr, and Turkey and the UAE signed contracts to build another two plants (Akkuyu, with Rosatom; Barakah, with KEPCO). The most recent intergovernmental agreement was signed in May 2013 between Japan and Turkey to construct the Sinop nuclear power plant (headed by the Franco-Japanese consortium of GDF Suez and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries).We withes fierce competition for the shares of the new market and the Russian State Corporation Rosatom is very well placed in this competition”.

A particularly interesting part of the ensuing discussion centered around the Build-Own-Operate (BOO) framework used by Rosatom for the construction of Akkuyu. Experts noted a number of risks associated with financing the project, owning a strategic object on foreign territory, and Russian-Turkish collaboration to ensure the safety and security of the nuclear power plant.

Andrey Baklitsky’s article “Nuclear Energy in the Middle East: Russia’s Role and Interests” will be published in an upcoming number of the Security Index journal.

The PIR Center closely follows nuclear energy developments in the Middle East within the framework of its project “Russia and the Middle East: Promoting Strategic Interests.” The article “Rosatom in the Middle East: Why Western Competitors Have Little Chance” was published in Issue 4 (2013) of the PIR Center’s exclusive analytical newsletter Russia Confidential. Giacomo Luciani published an article in Security Index No. 4 (101), 2012 “The Rationale for Nuclear Energy in the Persian Gulf Countries.”

For more information on the project “Russia and the Middle East: Promoting Strategic Interests,” please contact the “Nuclear Nonproliferation and Russia” program coordinator Alexander Kolbin by phone +7 (495) 987-19-15 or email, kolbin at pircenter.org

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