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40 years after Israeli strike, Iraq looks to build nuclear reactors

  • Jun 16, 2021 8:30 am GMT
Jerusalem Post

Some 40 years after the Israeli airstrike on Saddam Hussein's nuclear reactor, Iraq is expressing interest in building eight nuclear reactors in order to keep up with rising energy demands in the country.

Kamal Hussain Latif, chairman of the Iraqi Radioactive Sources Regulatory Authority, told Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik on Tuesday that Iraq planned to build eight nuclear reactors to provide 25% of the electricity in the country in 2030. Latif acknowledged that it may take longer to finish all eight reactors and that the number could change.



Latif confirmed that the Russian state corporation Rosatom would implement the project to build the nuclear reactors. Iraq plans to seek $40 billion in loans in order to carry out the project.


South Korea has also offered to help build the plants and even offered Iraqis a tour of reactors in the United Arab Emirates run by the Korea Electric Power Corp., according to Bloomberg magazine.


Iraqi officials announced in May that they were considering 20 possible locations for the planned nuclear reactors.


In April, the Iraqi Radioactive Sources Regulatory Authority announced that it had reached understandings with three countries in order to accelerate the construction of nuclear reactors in Iraq.


Latif told the Iraqi News Agency in April that Iraqi officials had met with Russian and French officials in order to discuss the "peaceful use of nuclear energy" and for medical and industrial purposes. Last year, five countries were confirmed as candidates to build new reactors, including the US, Russia, Argentina, South Korea and France.


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The plans to build nuclear reactors come as Iraq suffers from frequent blackouts and faces concerns that it will be unable to keep up with demand in coming years, which is expected to reach 42 gigawatts by 2030.


The plans also come amid rising concerns surrounding Iran's nuclear ambitions, as it announced on Tuesday that it had made 6.5 kg of uranium enriched to up to 60%, taking yet another step closer to nuclear weapons-grade material. A number of large Iranian-backed militias operate in Iraq.


In an operation on June 7, 1981, the Israel Air Force destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, which was being built by Hussein's regime, in an operation involving F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jun 16, 2021

"Latif confirmed that the Russian state corporation Rosatom would implement the project to build the nuclear reactors. Iraq plans to seek $40 billion in loans in order to carry out the project."

Indicative of a general trend. Allowing Russia and China to dominate developing countries by offering robust reliable, clean nuclear energy systems now, while obligating them to commit to fuel and maintenance contracts of indeterminate length, has fatal, long-term implications for the future of the U.S. in particular and democracy in general.

Think "invasion in slow motion". By 2040 Iraqis will need a password to turn on their electricity, and it will look something like мой2пар!оль.

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