Keywords: Arab world, nuclear desalination, water-electricity cogeneration, advanced reactor, inherent safe, passive safe, water-electricity economy
Nuclear desalination in the Arab world – Part II: advanced inherent and passive safe nuclear reactors
Rapid increases in population levels have led to greater demands for fresh water and electricity in the Arab World. Different types of energies are needed to contribute to bridging the gap between increased demand and production. Increased levels of safeguards in nuclear power plants have became reliable due to their large operational experience, which now exceeds 11,000 years of operation. Thus, the nuclear power industry should be attracting greater attention. World electricity production from nuclear power has risen from 1.7% in 1970 to 17%-20% today. This ratio had increased in June 2002 to reach more than 30%, 33% and 42% in Europe, Japan, and South Korea respectively. In the Arab World, both the public acceptance and economic viability of nuclear power as a major source of energy are greatly dependent on the achievement of a high level of safety and environmental protection. An assessment of the recent generation of advanced reactor safety criteria requirements has been carried out. The promising reactor designs adapted for the Arab world and other similar developing countries are those that profit from the enhanced and passive safety features of the new generation of reactors, with a stronger focus on the effective use of intrinsic characteristics, simplified plant design, and easy construction, operation and maintenance. In addition, selected advanced reactors with a full spectrum from small to large capacities, and from evolutionary to radical types, which have inherent and passive safety features, are discussed. The relevant economic assessment of these reactors adapted for water/electricity cogeneration have been carried out and compared with non-nuclear desalination methods. This assessment indicates that, water/electricity cogeneration by the nuclear method with advanced inherent and passive safe nuclear power plants, is viable and competitive.