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Tue 9 Mar 2010 10:30 AM

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Kuwait to have nuclear power 'within 7 years'

Amir forms committee to aquire and use nuclear energy in line with international laws.

Kuwait to have nuclear power 'within 7 years'
AMBITION: Kuwait has said it aims to be using nuclear power within seven years.

Kuwait is aiming to have a nuclear power station operational within seven years, a Kuwaiti minister told the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

Kuwait's Minister of Electricity and Water Bader Al-Shuraiaan made the announcement while attending an international conference in Paris on peaceful usage of nuclear energy.

KUNA also reported that HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has formed a special committee to undertake the task of acquiring and using the nuclear energy in line with international treaties and resolutions. A special team has also been assigned to decide on the site for the nuclear reactor and Al-Shuraiaan said it was likely to be up and running in seven years.

The minister also said that there are plans to launch a solar power station and that several foreign companies have tendered for investment in the venture.

At the Paris conference yesterday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that nuclear energy has become a basic issue for the future of mankind and he called on the international community to find ways to fund nuclear power facilities in countries facing power shortages.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Kuwait’s electricity sector has enough reserves to avoid having to resort to programmed power cuts. Iyad Al-Falah, assistant undersecretary for technical services at the Ministry of Electricity and Water told the Kuwait Electricity Conference and Exhibition that the country had enough reserves at present and that any programmed cuts would be implemented as a “last solution”, according to a report in the Kuwait Times newspaper.

“If people come across announcements about programmed power cuts, it will be caused by maintenance work performed on some generators," Al-Falah is quoted as saying. Al-Falah added that the expansion of development plans over the past few years had put pressure on supply.

"The greatest challenge is the increasing demand of power supply as a result of the expansion of development projects that have been growing rapidly during the past few years. This caused the need to build new stations and renew existing ones to match with this rise according to the best international standards,” he said.

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