You will prepare and submit a term paper on Harnessing Nuclear Power in Saudi Arabia. Your paper should be a minimum of 1750 words in length. According to IAEA, nuclear power produces an average of 15 g CO2eq./KWh of electricity generated on a life cycle basis. On the other hand, the hydroelectric power generation produces an average of 16 g CO2eq./KWh of electricity (IAEA, 2011, p. 11). Thus, nuclear energy can help Saudi Arabia to cut its emissions.
Nuclear power is energy supply security. If Saudi Arabia wants to strengthen its energy supply security, it has to increase the number and flexibility of the supply options. Because of the challenge of climate change, there is a need to select greener sources of energy. However, the options available to desert countries are limited. hydroelectric power generation may be unreliable. Nevertheless, the introduction and expansion of nuclear power increase the variety of energy supplies (IAEA, 2011, p. 15).
Nuclear power can be used in the desalination of seawater. The process utilizes the excess power beyond that required for baseload operation. Desalination is an energy-intensive process. Most of the plants around the globe use fossil fuels as primary sources of energy. Consequently, they increase the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. A better solution is to use nuclear energy. the technology is already operational in India, China, and Japan. It is estimated that nuclear desalination can utilize 20% of energy from a 600-megawatt plant and produce 500 000 m3 of potable water per day (IAEA, 2011, p. 16-17).
Nuclear energy is used in the production of hydrogen needed in transportation. Currently, there are various methods of producing hydrogen, but the most efficient techniques are thermochemical splitting and hydrolysis of water. Although thermochemical splitting of water is more efficient than hydrolysis, it needs a lot of energy. For instance, it requires temperatures between 7000 C and 10000 C. However, with nuclear desalination, the enormous energy needed can be obtained easily. In a nuclear plant, there is excess energy available in the form of heat, often beyond the baseload demands. The energy can be utilized to produce hydrogen (IAEA, 2011, p. 17).