Abu Dhabi Commissioning Nuclear Power in 2018


Abu Dhabi is commissioning a new set of nuclear plants for the first time in 2018, that will generate 25% of its power. I find this a bit hard to understand, since it’s happening just as countries like Germany and Italy are decommissioning their nuclear power. Also, Abu Dhabi has huge peaks; their ratio of peak to average load is one of the largest on Earth, due largely to air conditioning, which represents 85% of load — even more surprising for a country that has huge energy needs for water desalination and the petrochemical industry.

Making matters worse, they don’t seem to be able to handling these peak loads too elegantly. It’s not uncommon for transformers to burst into flame, turning people out into the streets to sleep where it’s much cooler when the A/C goes out. This, in turn, negatively affects production, when people can’t get a good night’s sleep.

Holy cow.

So, I asked the speaker: “Why on Earth do they want nuclear (that doesn’t scale up and down according to load)?”

“They like ‘big,’” he answered. “They want to make one deal and have a solution – large enough to make it possible for them to crank up their air conditioning so they can show off their furs.”

Wow. I thought we had idiotic extravagances here. It’s quite a world.



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