Saturday, November 5, 2011

Civilian nuclear power is viable long-term solution

Abu Dhabi: The civil nuclear energy programme now being developed in the UAE is an effective solution to the country's energy needs, Dr Hans Blix, Director General Emeritus of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in the capital yesterday.
"The UAE has taken a lead role in adopting an advanced programme of civil nuclear power. Nuclear weapons proliferation does not automatically follow from civil nuclear programmes," Blix told delegates at an energy conference organised by the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR).
"Around the world, nuclear energy is increasingly seen as a long-term solution to the energy dilemmas of the future. While the recent nuclear accident at Fukushima caused concern, we can describe this incident as a bump in the road," said Blix.
He said in response to the Fukushima incident in Japan, European countries have subjected their nuclear plants to "stress tests" and found that safety standards are adequate.
However, Blix said there are sharp divisions over the viability of civil nuclear power in the future.
"Ultimately, the long-term case for nuclear energy is subject to economic and environmental considerations.
"For instance, nuclear power is becoming less important to the overall energy needs of the US due to the important breakthroughs in the exploitation of shale gas," he added.
Blix said the safe use of nuclear energy is a compelling option for meeting future energy needs. More

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