The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) common nuclear power plant is expected to become a reality by 2015. The GCC will announce the name of the host country early next year, said a top official who is actively involved in the coordination of the proposed nuclear power plant.
Talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of a three-day workshop on “National nuclear legislation and international legal elements for GCC member states”, that started here yesterday, he said: “There is no guessing on the name of the country that would be hosting the common nuclear power plant. The member countries will consider all the options before finalising the name.”
Launching a nuclear power plant is time-consuming. As per the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stipulations, the GCC has to complete three critical stages before installation of the plant. It is in the process of completing the first one.
“We need to complete seven different milestones, including the security and safety assessments, during the initial stage. Once this phase is over, we will announce the name of the host country,” he said. “We can perhaps expedite the second and third phases, which include floating of tenders and the commissioning, but not the first phase,” he added.
He said options are open for member countries to set up separate nuclear plants in their respective countries. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are exploring such possibilities.
Of late, a high-level team from Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) visited Russia and held discussions with Russian Federal Agency for Nuclear Energy (Rosatom).
Qatar discussed utilisation of the newly-developed Russian floating nuclear power plants (FNPP). Experts point out that the Russian floating nuclear power plants are ideal for Qatar because they not only have the capability to generate electricity, but can also be used to desalinate water. This is important keeping in view that the projected daily water demand of Qatar would be about 681,000 cubic metres per day by 2012. Experts say Russian FNPP’s can supply roughly 240,000 cubic metres of water each day, which would at least partially meet the projected demand.
The Qatari delegation attended several programmes and presentations hosted by Russia’s nuclear energy agencies. It toured several Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) construction companies. The delegation also held several rounds of discussions with Rosatom’s International Cooperation department on preliminary lines of cooperation with Russia.
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