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Valdai discussion club calculates risks for Russian nuclear projects in Middle East

January 18, 20:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The main problem, in an expert's view is the limited nuclear infrastructure of the Middle East region, including the absence of staff and experts
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© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Ryumin

MOSCOW, January 18 /TASS/. Russia, which has the biggest portfolio of orders in atomic energy in the Middle East, should be ready for negative scenarios in the region’s nuclear power market and should preserve its competitive advantages, Anton Khlopkov, director of the Energy and Security Center of the International Valdai Discussion Club, said at the club’s session on Monday.

"Nine nuclear power stations with 33 reactors can be built in six Middle East states before 2030," Khlopkov said in a report delivered to the Valdai expert community.

"For the moment, Russia is the biggest builder, judging from the number of contracts it has signed, of nuclear power plants in the Middle East. The Middle East accounts for approximately one third of the portfolio of orders received by the Rosatom State Corporation for Atomic Energy (Rosatom). However, a number of threats existing in this region may introduce negative adjustments to these plans," Khlopkov said.

The main problem in his view is the limited nuclear infrastructure of the Middle East region, including the absence of staff and experts; the imperfect legal basis and insufficient experience of the majority of regional states. "There are no scientists and no experts who could implement such projects," the Khlopkov stressed.

He, however, believes that political instability as well as wars, a terrorist threat and other dangers are the main obstacles.

"This is the main deterrence factor on the way to the economic and energy development of the [Middle East] region, including in the field of atomic energy. We cannot but reckon with these things," Khlopkov stressed.

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