Kuwait's nuclear study to be ready next year
Study to determine whether kingdom should adopt nuclear energy.
Studies on the viability and cost of a civil nuclear energy project in Kuwait will be ready for decision makers by early next year, a senior official said.
"We hope as we see it now, the decision should be by the end of this year, early next year," Ahmad Bishara, the secretary general of the Kuwait National Nuclear Energy told Reuters on Thursday.
If a decision is taken to adopt nuclear energy, a plant could be operational by 2020, he said.
The study is being carried out by international consultants, who Bishara declined to name. They were asked to look at three to four sites for a nuclear station, the economic feasibility, the available technology as well as the legal framework.
Kuwait has a power capacity of around 11,000MW, and is currently building a 2,000MW conventional power plant.
Bishara said water consumption was expected to double, and demand for electricity could triple to 30,000 megawatts by 2030.
Nuclear energy could provide about 6,000MW of the needed electricity, he said. It would also help Kuwait cut carbon dioxide emissions, which reach 30 tonnes annually per capita, compared to around 10 tonnes in industrial nations.
About two thirds of energy consumed in Kuwait is used up by air conditioning and electrical power is heavily subsidised by the state. Furthermore, the desert country is poor in fresh water resources and the government desalinates water from the Gulf. It is also seeking to use nuclear power for that purpose.
In April, Kuwait and France signed an agreement to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. Bishara also said a memorandum of understanding with the U.S. Department of Energy to provide training and equipment could be signed at the end of June.
He declined to specify how much Kuwait planned to spend on the project, but said the cost of nuclear-generated electrical power would be around $4.5 billion for every 1,000 megawatts.