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Nuclear Power's Fading Moment in the Middle East

Jun 7, 2018 | 10:00 GMT
An employee works at the Rumaila natural gas power station in southern Iraq. Like most countries in the Middle East, Iraq relies on natural gas for much of its electricity generation.

An employee works at the Rumaila natural gas power station in southern Iraq. Like most countries in the Middle East, Iraq relies on natural gas for much of its electricity generation.

(HAIDAR MOHAMMED ALI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Middle East and North Africa sit at a crucial intersection of energy economics and regional security concerns. The region's growing populations and economies are using more electricity, and some key countries are seeking to diversify their electrical grids by reducing their reliance on generation fueled by oil and natural gas. Nuclear power factors in as a prominent part of the region's strategy to move away from fossil fuel. But advances in other energy technologies and the complications surrounding Iran's nuclear program are complicating their desire for nuclear power. The U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions could push Tehran toward resuming its enrichment of nuclear fuel, sharpening questions about the justifications that other countries in the region use for pursuing nuclear power. While the desire to develop nuclear power in the Middle East and North Africa is alive and well, the associated costs, the rise of...

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