Civilian nuclear power in the Middle East
January 17, 2011
The Financial Times Limited
Craven Crowell, a partner in the Energy Practice at Oliver Wyman, writes a guest column in the Financial Times Limited. For commercial nuclear power to be successful in the Middle East, it must be supported by the development of a strong nuclear culture, which is by any measure a complex and difficult task.
Using the nuclear expertise of international companies by signing design and construction contracts is a good starting point, but it is people, not contracts, who build and operate nuclear plants.
Eager to diversify their energy sectors, countries in the Middle East such as the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, Kuwait and Qatar, are attempting to fast-track the development of a regulatory structure and multiple plants.
Achieving a nuclear culture committed to quality, safety, accountability, and performance is tricky anywhere, but the Middle East countries face the dual challenges of limited expertise and a unique labour market.