About the Forum
Many Arab countries have expressed their desire to include the option of electricity generation and sea water desalination with nuclear energy as part of their strategies to secure and diverse energy supply resources. There are many reasons for the Arab countries to build nuclear power plants to generate electricity and sea water desalination, including the increase in energy demand, water scarcity, the growing shortage of oil and gas reserves and its price fluctuations, the relationship between energy and development, and the desire to secure energy sources and self-sufficiency. Nuclear power has proved its reliability in terms of the safety and security, not to mention that it doesn’t emit greenhouse gases and is also cost competitive compared to other sources of energy. The Arab countries have expressed their desire to the peaceful use of nuclear energy especially for electricity generation and water desalination. This has been expressed clearly in the Arab Summit resolution (Doha 2009) which approved “The Arab Strategy for Peaceful use of Atomic Energy up to 2020“. Most Arab countries lack the required knowledge, skills, human resources, and financial resources to build nuclear power plants to generate electricity and seawater desalination, so they need to establish and develop the basic infrastructure that enables them to build these nuclear power plants.
Arab Atomic Energy Agency, League of Arab States, Arab Ministerial Council of Electricity and the Arab Union of Electricity are aware of the necessity to study and explore nuclear energy as a strategic Arab option for energy security and hope to better understand the main features needed to plan an Arab nuclear energy program, With emphasis on the development of nuclear infrastructure for the establishment of nuclear power plants, in particular in terms of legislative and regulatory structure, human resources and conditions of choice of optimal location, nuclear security and safety, and public acceptance.
In support of Arab need to include the nuclear option of electricity generation and seawater desalination in their strategies to diversify energy resources, the “Arab Forum on the Prospects of Nuclear Power for Electricity Generation and Seawater Desalination” is organized periodically.
The previous four forums have had a clear positive role in raising awareness of nuclear energy at the public and decision-making levels.
The fifth forum is a follow-up to the issues discussed in previous forums related to nuclear energy programs in Arab countries. The Forum encourages Arab cooperation and public understanding on key issues related to nuclear energy, such as human and financial resources, comprehensive legislative and supervisory systems, site selection, as well as appropriate nuclear power technology, electrical grid suitability, nuclear fuel cycle, radioactive waste management, and communication with the public. It also provides an opportunity for many countries that examine the potential benefits of introducing nuclear energy into their national energy to make appropriate decisions according to their national conditions regarding building nuclear power plants.
The importance of the fifth forum comes at a time when some Arab countries such as the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Emirates have already started to build nuclear power plants to generate electricity, and many Arab countries are considering introducing the option of nuclear energy in their strategy to diversify energy sources.