Perspectives #1 April 2011: Nuclear Energy and the Arab World - Ambition and Peril



Available in print at Heinrich Boell Foundation - Middle East Office in Beirut

Perspectives - Political Analysis and Commentary from the Middle East is a publication series of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung’s offices in Beirut and Ramallah that seeks to provide a platform for presenting analysis and viewpoints of experts from the region.

Currently, an element of irreversible change and open debate is reverberating in the Arab World, as well as a sense that democratic participation is not limited to forming political parties and competing in elections. Today, Arab citizens claim their right to be informed and to have a word when decisions are being taken by governments that may affect the very future of their societies.

The transfer and use of modern technologies requires such decisions. Among the most controversial of all, the civilian use of nuclear energy ranks high on the list. The nuclear disaster in the Japanese city of Fukushima on 11 March 2011 has brought the destructive potential of this technology to the forefront again. A leading industrial nation, Japan was not able to prevent the exposure of its citizens to massive hazards and risks as a result of the nuclear meltdown. Should Arab countries with less advanced technological capacities invest in nuclear energy production that proved uncontrollable in Japan? Why do Arab decision makers perceive nuclear energy as bridge to the solar age and potential to decrease the dependency of external resources?

Why is nuclear power so popular, despite its negative reputation in reliability, security and sustainability? What are the viewpoints of civil society?

Under the title „Ambition and Peril: Nuclear Energy and the Middle East“, activists and decision-makers in the region and Europe critically discuss these and other questions in the first edition of Perspectives Middle East.

With contributions from Mohamed Abdel Raouf, Hamed Beheshti, Ali Darwish, Leila Ghanem, Dennis Kumentat und Nikolaus Supersberger, Najib Saab, Larbi Sadiki, und Jürgen Trittin.

Product details
Date of Publication
April 2011
Heinrich Boell Foundation - Middle East
Number of Pages
Language of publication
Table of contents

Editorial - Nuclear Energy and the Arab Spring - 3

The Arab Region as Part of a Nuclear Renaissance: Outlooks and Alternatives - Dennis Kumetat and Nikolaus Supersberger - 4

Nuclear Reactors or Hernia Surgery? - Najib Saab - 9

Going Nuclear: An Arab Oppenheimer? An Arab Response to Iranian Nuclear Energy Ambitions Should be Dictated by Wisdom and Not by Emotion - Larbi Sadiki - 11

Women and Nuclear Energy - Leila Ghanem - 14

United Arab Emirates (UAE): The Nuclear Program and Renewable Energy Alternatives - Mohamed Abdel Raouf - 17

Energy of the Future Instead of Technology From the Past - Jürgen Trittin - 23

We Need a Long Term Advocacy Strategy Towards a Nuclear Free Region - Interview with Ali Darwish - 26

Nuclear vs. Renewables? Energy Options for Iran - Hamed Beheshti - 30