Nuclear Power Potential in the Caspian Sea Region
Nuclear power seems to be a viable and economic option (Anker et al., 2010) for the countries around the Caspian Sea Region to take advantage of. There are a lot of reasons actually why that is so and two of the most common reasons are nuclear power’s clean nature with no greenhouse gas emissions and it being a reliable source of energy compared to energy generated from combusted fossil fuels.
Aside from this, there are still other undiscovered and uncovered benefits of Nuclear Power. However, there are dangers in using this promising technology. At present, it is not really recommended for still developing countries to use this type of technology as their main source of electricity because it is extremely dangerous. A nuclear power plant that is either overloaded or poorly maintained could possibly explode and cause a meltdown. With such occurrence, radioactive chemicals such as uranium in their enriched form could be released into the environment and cause the nearby population to experience moderate to severe health damages such as cancers and other life threatening diseases (Cohen, 2011).
So, do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages and other potential dangers that might occur using the countries in the Caspian Sea Region as a Subject? According to nuclear economy experts, commercial usage of nuclear power is a mature global industry and it is still in its growing state. Actually, this is not very surprising since the US and other countries involved in the use of Nuclear Power during the World War II have already conducted a lot of tests to reinforce their knowledge about the use of such technology.
So, in order for the countries in the Caspian Sea Region’s economy not to be left out by the US energy economy, it might indeed be a good idea to start advocating the use of Nuclear Plants in the Middle East and join the competition.
However, they might want to consider other factors that come with the use of Nuclear energy first. The possibility of a meltdown isn’t actually the only thing that’s alarming here. It’s also the way of disposing the wastes generated by Nuclear Energy Production. These are harmful and toxic wastes and they require special care because they really aren’t intended to be exposed to the public. With all of the major advantages and disadvantages mentioned, there is a great probability that the countries in the Caspian Sea Region will still use nuclear tools towards 2025 nevertheless.
According to Priddle (2005), the resources that one could find within the Caspian Sea region are the world’s largest undeveloped. He particularly mentioned the oil and gas reserves that could be found on the said region. This is because the countries in the Caspian Sea Region’s resource and extraction development programs still face a lot of obstacles. Some examples of these obstacles include the lack of export pipelines. In relation to the law of supply and demand, a commodity with a low demand could not really be profitable.
We all know how blessed the Caspian Sea Region countries are when it comes to access to natural resources. In fact, according to studies, these countries have a very big export potential if only they could develop their strategies in exporting these goods. One of the biggest problems they face is their lack of new pipeline systems. The current pipeline system that some of the countries actually use is intended to serve the needs of the Soviet Union. Meaning, it is not really for commercial purposes. Therefore, the construction of new export pipelines should be a top priority.
Hopefully by 2025, most countries in Caspian Sea Region with access to oil and gas reserves already have a newer and more carefully planned network of export pipelines that’s really intended for export and commercial purposes. This is what these Caspian Sea Region countries all have to do to be able to have a better fight against the oil and gas exports of Russian companies since they do not have to worry about quality and price at all because oil and gas extracted from the Caspian Sea Region have higher quality and are much cheaper compared to its Russian counterparts (Pravda, 2009). The US is likely to help these countries improve their access to natural resources because crippling Russia’s oil economy could actually do them in case a war occurs according to the same source.
Potential for Ethnic Conflict
There are a lot of religions and nationalism across the globe. In turn, each person has their own sets of beliefs. Each civilization has its own culture and traditions. These factors are actually the perfect recipe for miscommunications and ethnic conflicts according to Jerry Muller (2008). Violence is almost always paired with any form of conflicts and it would be wise for the countries in the Caspian Sea Region to get prepared as early as now for any future cases of conflicts on their region since.
In South Caucasus, Georgia, and Azerbaijan, a significant number of violence had already been recorded. These incidents happened in the form of flare-ups, riots and rallies. According to Szayna (2003), there is indeed great potential for ethnic conflict in the Caspian Sea Region since there are a lot of ethnic groups present in that region. According to the same source, a major precondition for violence and conflicts is the combination of the presence of many ethnic groups in a given polity.
Of course, we cannot fully attribute the arising of conflicts and violence to the presence of different ethnic groups because we could not really do much about those numbers. Other factors such as authoritarian regimes that have proven itself ineffective and inefficient in resolving a country’s problems, high unemployment rates, national ideology differences between different ethnic groups, low income levels of citizens and differences in perceptions are some of the major conflicting factors according to Szayna (2003).
What’s more disturbing about this is the fact that there is no quick remedy to conflicts and its contributing factors. So, there could be a good chance that violence will continue to persist. In the Past, the US has already intervened with Iraq’s businesses as a country and it actually led to a war. Perhaps, US have interests in the Region’s oil deposits after all.
Anker, M., Brunstad, B., Baev, P., Overland, I., & Torjesen, S. The Caspian Sea Towards 2025:
Caspia Inc., National Giants or Trade and Transit. Delft: Eburon Publishers, 2010. Print.
Cohen, B. (2011). Risks of Nuclear Power. Physics ISU. Accessed January 2012. Available at http://www.physics.isu.edu/radinf/np-risk.htm.
Muller, J. (2008). Is Ethnic Conflict Inevitable? Council on Foreign Relations. Print.
Szayna, T. (2003). Potential for Ethnic Conflict in the Caspian Region. Rand. Print.
PetroliumIran. (2010). Caspian Sea Region: Regional Conflicts. Print.
Priddle, R. (2005). Oil and Gas Export Routes. IEA. Print.
Pravda. (2009). USA’s Interest in Caspian Sea Oil to Bring More Trouble to Russia. Pravda World. Accessed January 2012. Available at http://english.pravda.ru/world/asia/05-06-2009/107728-caspian_sea-0/.