1. I have often used the UAE case when hearing claims on solar energy. Now if only the US could act that fast…

  2. One of these days those in control of the USA will realize that we should have started building more NPPs years ago. We are going to be a has-been country if we do not see that the future is, at least for the next 100 years, in nuclear power. Maybe later we will figure out how to harness fusion. 30, even 20 years ago we could have sold those NPPs to the UAE. Now countries that we taught how to operate and build are selling. Very soon we will get our power from offshore NPPs (maybe even from Texas Towers built 101 miles off shore) owned and operated by China. China will sell us wind mills, then solar panels and finally, when we learn they don’t do the job, we will need them to build our NPPs.

  3. Not to take anything from your extremely valid point, but Hawaii goes down to a latitude S18.9 degrees. It’s a common mistake as to say the US when you mean to say contiguous US. That is where our President was born. And yes: he is a citizen.

    1. @LionDancer – thank you for the modification. I have corrected the post to clarify the point about latitude comparisons.

  4. Dubai is full of five star hotels providing perfect air conditioning in a desert landscape, one resort there has a refrigerated beach for people to relax, and they have an indoors skiing area with artificially produced snow.
    – Life can be improved greatly with MORE energy, and nuclear power plants are one of the best ways to produce it.

  5. The comparison with natural gas development is reasonably interesting. But it’s not like they’re going to outsource development of their gas fields, is it? So it doesn’t seem like a fair comparison.
    What’s tremendously interesting is the comments at the end of the article about how building, operating and servicing NPPs upgrades the local industry by imposing higher quality standards. Now THAT is FASCINATING.
    Here’s hoping they do learn about quality assurance. Because what I’ve learned about the Arabs is they positively suck on maintenance. It’s endemic to their culture, and the result of suffering extremely abusive childhoods.
    Maybe the NPPs will break Inshallah mentality. Or maybe the Inshallah mentality will break the NPPs. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be the latter. After all, when’s the last time you heard about the Arabs innovating? Or even contracting out for an innovation?
    I do believe that innovating is tied to acceptance of innovation. The South Koreans innovated with setting up POSCO in a streamlined way, then paying Siemens VAI to develop FINEX, then again that mayor who ripped out a highway to return a river, then there’s their leapfrogging on fiber-optics.
    The Arabs’ relationship to innovation and modernity is … not good.

    1. @Richard – your comment is borderline offensive and certainly demeaning. Have you ever visited an Arab country or worked with Arab engineers on a professional level? Yes, there are some examples of the behavior that you mentioned, but I can point to many similar examples of such behavior in various American enterprises. Not all of us work as hard or are as successful in our maintenance efforts as others.
      Also, the UAE does outsource a significant portion of the development of its gas fields. The nation is the host to a large contingent of foreign oil and gas workers. http://www.uaeinteract.com/uaeint_misc/pdf/perspectives/11.pdf

  6. While agreeing with Rod, UAE is generally short of labor and a lot of people from South Asian subcontinent work there. This could be extended to NPP’s till local people are ready.

  7. The basic reason for developing nuclear there is obvious in addition to the points made by Rod: they want to develop their gas fields as a source for revenue. Can’t do that if you are burning it up for power domestically. So this makes sense at ever convievable angle.
    Arabs like all sectors of humanity are VERY innovative. Just look a Dubai or any of the Arab countries (whose history includes that little innovative invention of theirs called “Mathamatics”) that have the resources for development and you will see lots of innovation.

    1. Agreed. While some cultures have historically not been adept at accepting advancements in innovation or technology, I think you have to look at their motivation and incentive. Generally, people respond better to reward than to punishment/penalty. For the underdeveloped countries, they see the benefit of consistent power in quality of life, conveniences, productivity, economic and civic stability — as opposed to squabbles over ‘scarce’ resources, territorial power grabs, etc.
      To think that people in underdeveloped countries won’t find the reason or motivation to advance from their previous nonchalance to become excellent stewards of their new-found resources is a bit arrogant, IMHO.

    2. “whose history includes that little innovative invention of theirs called “Mathamatics””
      No, that was largely the result of the ancient Greeks. Even what we call “arabic numerals” originated in India, not the Arabian peninsula.

      1. Brian – you mean to tell me that al gebra and al gorithms weren’t invented by Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, a Persian mathematician of the 8th and 9th century? (Al-Khwarizmi – Alkhwarizmi – alghwarizmi – algorizmi – algorithm…)
        The Greeks invented geometry; the Indians invented a number system with zero; the Persians invented algebra; and the Arabs (polymath Ibn al-Haytham of Basra) invented the first integrals of calculus – the Indians elaborated on his concept greatly. Everyone played a role, though post-Fall of Rome Europe was particularly absent until the Renaissance.
        (Ibn al-Haytham of Basra also came up with the first real statement of the scientific method, and the first real application of the scientific method, to various problems in optics. Some say that he was the first scientist in human history.)
        Source: WP, memory.

        1. Importantly it was the Arabic world which preserved (large fraction of) the knowledge of the Greek and Roman Antiquity, which early Christianity tried to purge for centuries. Fortunately Europe went out of the Dark Ages in time to reclaim this knowledge, as by the 12th century the Arabic world entered its very own dark ages following al-Ghazali’s dogma that Mathematics is the work of the devil, and revelation replaced investigation.
          Great talk by Niel Tyson about progress and discovery: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-102519600994873365#

        2. “Importantly it was the Arabic world which preserved (large fraction of) the knowledge of the Greek and Roman Antiquity, which early Christianity tried to purge for centuries.”
          Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Christians actively tried to “purge” this knowledge, but no one can claim that they had preserved it very well. Carelessness can do wonders.
          Nevertheless, you are correct that late medieval and early renaissance mathematicians relied heavily on works written in Arabic that were translations of the original Greek. So we can say that the ancient Arabic world produced some great librarians and translators.
          On the other hand, there was very little mathematical innovation (aside from a couple of rare exceptions) at this time. The major advances would be in what we call algebra today (and indeed, the term “algebra” is a legacy of these Arabic origins, taken from the title of the major work on the subject), but it wouldn’t be what a modern student of mathematics considers to be algebra.

          1. > Carelessness can do wonders.
            What an euphemism for burning down whole libraries, often with librarians, I am sorry I have to say. Library of Antioch, Library of Alexandria, all of the Cathar libraries, Jewish and Arabic libraries after the reconquest of Spain; burning the “sorcery scrolls” since Acts 19:19, all the apocrypha since the First council, works of/and heretics when ever identified, etc. Certainly Christianity was not the only religion guilty of retarding human progress, but give credit where credit is due. “Take no thought for the morrow” is about as useful motto as “Mathematics is the work of the devil”.
            However, the fertile period of Islamic scholarship produced other advances than in mathematics, namely in agriculture, economy, chemistry, physics, medicine, and many others. Some of the invention from this time are: camera obscura, coffee, soap bar, tooth paste, shampoo, distilled alcohol, uric acid, nitric acid, alembic, valve, reciprocating suction piston pump, mechanized waterclocks, quilting, surgical catgut, vertical-axle windmill, inoculation, cryptanalysis, frequency analysis, three-course meal, stained glass and quartz glass, Persian carpet, and celestial globe (astrolabe).
            Previous paragraph is based on WP article which I’d like to recommend for further elucidation:
            It is rather impressive, and perhaps even more impressive is how long it may take to recover..

            1. Yes, it’s quite a sales pitch. I might even be inclined to believe most of it — as far as anyone can rely on the accuracy of Wikipedia.
              Nevertheless, the original claim was that mathematics was an “invention” of Arab countries, which is a ridiculous claim, even by Wikipedia standards. The mathematical contributions of the Arabic world are modest as best (although extraordinary for the time, when not much progress was being made in this field). In general, they tended to focus on a formulaic approach — solving specific problems one at a time without much development of a fundamental theory underlying all of the work. (Of course, as with any generalizations, exceptions to this can be found.)
              As for those pesky Christians who tried to “purge” early knowledge, don’t underestimate the efforts of the Islamic world. The “enlightened” Arabic world started to deteriorate almost 1000 years ago. Those records that were not destroyed by the Christian “barbarians” were destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists. By the time the Renaissance arrived in Europe, the much of the Arabic world was a superstitious backwater, and it would remain that way until well into the nineteenth century, some of it into the twentieth century.
              We are fortunate that much of this knowledge made its way into Western Europe and was translated into Italian and other European languages, otherwise it would have been lost at the hands of both Christians and Muslims.

        3. “Brian – you mean to tell me that al gebra and al gorithms weren’t invented …”
          Not at all. Where did I say that?
          No, both terms are believed to have been coined from only one man and the magnum opus that he composed.
          Please read again what you have written. Greeks, Indians, Persians, Arabs … have all contributed to the collection of knowledge that forms modern mathematics to greater or lesser extents.
          Do you mean to defend the claim that Arabs invented mathematics?

  8. Just as history is being rewritten today it was rewritten years and eons ago. About every 6 – 9 months I learn that someone else actually invented the phone, radio, TV, _______. Look at how even the history in our schools history books are revised – some to make history more accurate and some to advance a particular philosophy. And we have decent written history. In addition to the libraries that were hidden and lost or rotted away, many “libraries” were destroyed by many religions and many conquers, all with a desire to rewrite history and prove they were the best. It is doubtful that anyone today can honestly conclude who invented what. Regardless of that fact, most “inventions” are just reapplications of previous knowledge with a slight twist or repurpose.

  9. There is some information going around that the UAE is not to happy with South Korea, since the won the bid, as there have been cost increase of nearly $10B since it was awarded the original $20B contract. As the UAE changed the original location and South Koreas prices have increased KEPCO hit them up for nearly $10B increase. I think this is more than Areva or GE-Hitachi orignal prices were for the four plants. Also KEPCO has capacity problems as they recently backed out of Jordan, Turkey and Lithuania. They are obviously having problems with this contract.

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