Considering many former Eastern Bloc countries did their utmost to escape the control of Moscow, the likes of Bulgaria and Belarus are now working as hard to place themselves back under the capriciousness of the Kremlin. And it’s not just Russia and former Soviet satellites who are working towards a nuclear imperialism.
As we showed the other day, Bulgaria in its push for its own ‘nuclear renaissance’ has made itself totally reliant on Russian designs and uranium in order to get its power stations online. With uncertainty surrounding the financing on the new reactors at Belene, there are signs that the Bulgarians are about to make themselves reliant on Russian funding as well.
Lacking their own expertise in nuclear technology, many countries are throwing their energy production open to foreign consortiums and, by extension, future insecurity. Former Soviet satellite Belarus have invited Russian state-owned corporation Rosatom to tender for a new nuclear power plant. Russia has offered to supply credit for the plant.
But as we said, it’s not just Russia seeking to put itself at the centre of the nuclear web. Things take a potentially sinister turn when we watch French president and nuclear salesman Nicholas Sarkozy, in a bid to secure markets for French companies, working overtime to sell nuclear energy to the Middle East. As if that part of the world didn’t have enough problems right now, Sarkozy wants to give some of the most nasty and unstable regimes on the planet access to the most nasty and unstable technologies. These Middle Eastern countries certainly risk putting themselves at the mercy of the particular brand of Gallic nuclear incompetence for which the likes of French nuclear ‘experts’ Areva are rightly derided.
We hear today that the United Arab Emirates are now inspecting potential sites for three new reactors. According to UAE nuclear expert Khalid Malallah Al-Awadi, the sparsely-populated coastline between Abu Dhabi and Ruwais is a candidate. ‘Two nuclear power plants could be built here, 50km apart,’ he said.
That's a huge piece of land. Imagine the size of the concentrated solar power plant you could put there at the sun-belt of the world. The Middle East is one of the most sun-drenched regions in the world. The average irradiation there is 80% more than it is in Europe.
Plans have recently been announced for a €45bn solar farm in the Sahara that will supply electricity to Europe. It would make much more sense if the UAE invested solar technologies. So the question is why are they doing this? Ah yes, the Nuclear Napoleon, Nicholas Sarkozy and his battalions marched on the Emirates earlier this year and a treaty was signed.