A British newspaper said that Iraq plans to build 8 nuclear reactors that may be made by Russia, in a plan worth 40 billion US dollars to overcome the problem of power outages that led to civil unrest.
The newspaper ” Times” ( The Times ) that Iraq owns 8.4% of world oil, which fifth largest oil reserves in world, but crumbling infrastructure, corruption and mismanagement, high use of highly electricity in summer for purposes air conditioning; All of these factors contributed to the frequent power outages in the country. Read also 6 ministers and billions of dollars .. Why did Iraq’s electricity deteriorate? On the anniversary of targeting the Iraqi nuclear reactor, how did Israel manage to destroy it? The Independent: New exciting secrets about Israel’s bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor
The Iraqi government estimates that the demand for energy will rise by 50% by 2030. The head of the Iraqi Radioactive Resources Regulatory Authority Kamal Hussein Latif – in statements to the US “Bloomberg” agency – believes that without nuclear energy the country will be “in big trouble.”
The newspaper pointed out that the total output of the reactors that the Iraqi government plans to establish is estimated at about 11 gigawatts.
The Times reported that the project is expected to cost about $40 billion, and that the Iraqi government is seeking external partners to finance the project through loans that it will pay over 20 years, and has held talks on cooperation with France, the United States, Russia and South Korea.
It is believed that more nuclear energy will allow Iraq to produce and sell more oil, which is the main source of its revenue. The drop in crude oil prices since March of last year has drained the Iraqi treasury, as oil revenues represent 60% of GDP and 99% of the country’s exports.
Despite the rise in oil prices in recent months, Iraq is still seeking to support its budget.
The newspaper pointed out that the oil sector in Iraq is still largely inefficient, and is a major source of carbon emissions. Iraq ignites 16 billion cubic meters of gas from its oil fields each year, according to the World Bank, although the Iraqi authorities have said they intend to stop this.
The Times said that Middle Eastern countries are increasingly turning to nuclear energy in an attempt to move away from oil. Iran and the United Arab Emirates have active reactors, while work is underway in Turkey to construct the Akkuyu nuclear plant.
She pointed out that Russia has a major role in many Middle Eastern countries’ projects towards nuclear energy. The Russian Nuclear Energy Agency, known as “Rosatom”, supervises the Turkish “Akkuyu” project, and Russian companies own 51% of the project’s shares. It also cooperated with the UAE in its civilian nuclear project and signed an agreement with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran to build at least 8 new reactors, despite UN sanctions on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Rosatom is also building a nuclear power plant in Egypt and seeks to build two nuclear power facilities in Saudi Arabia, and has signed agreements with the governments of Jordan, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Sudan.
It was revealed last April that Iraq is in talks with France, Russia and the United States to build 3 nuclear reactors for civilian purposes.
The Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission was established in 1956, and Baghdad tried to develop nuclear weapons in the 1970s until the outbreak of war with Iran (1980-1988). After the Gulf War (1991) that followed the invasion of Kuwait, Iraq allowed UN weapons inspectors into the country, and by 1994, they were satisfied with the dismantling of Iraq’s nuclear program. In 1998, the late Iraqi President Saddam Hussein stopped allowing international inspectors to enter the country.
The United Nations Security Council lifted restrictions on Iraq’s nuclear activities in 2010, and signed the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Protocol on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.