x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Nuclear energy is part of future energy solutions

Readers respond to The National's coverage and current events.

People enjoy a picnic in Safa park in Dubai. A reader suggests installing lights and seating facilities for students who like to read and study in public parks. Pawan Singh / The National
People enjoy a picnic in Safa park in Dubai. A reader suggests installing lights and seating facilities for students who like to read and study in public parks. Pawan Singh / The National

The letter to the editor A new generation of nuclear power plants are on line (March 17) addressed future "safer" nuclear power plants and technologies in the pipeline, which is good news.

Nuclear power faces a problematic future. All research on global climate change indicates that we face a grim future in the coming centuries. So where will new energy sources be found to meet inflated expectations as each generation tends to want more than its predecessors?

Question one: What can feasibly be done to reduce lifestyle expectations to a sustainable level for both have and have-not nations? Question two: What can be done to ensure enough energy to meet basic needs in least-developed nations, and sustain acceptable levels of lifestyle reduction in developed countries? While both questions are linked, the answer to the latter question is nuclear power.

While we have learnt to expect technological fixes to our problems, every such fix comes with its own set of problems. Existing nuclear technologies are a case in point, a fix in energy production to meet expanded demands. How much further can we push the existing energy envelope, expanding production while developing alternatives? But even optimising alternatives coupled with enhanced efficiency and reduced consumption, we face a shortfall that only nuclear energy will provide.

We are in a race with time. Science and technology must strive for better design and construction of nuclear plants.

The UAE has incorporated such a policy into Abu Dhabi's Masdar Institute of Technology's energy research, as the nation cautiously tiptoes into nuclear energy. With vast potential for alternatives - solar, wind, tide - and strong petroleum reserves, the UAE has the luxury to phase in nuclear energy, balancing proven technologies with newer innovations. The UAE may thus become a world model for balanced energy production, but the hard part will be conservation.

Jamil Brownson, Abu Dhabi

Provide learning facilities in parks

In all the emirates in the UAE, there are beautiful and well-maintained public parks and gardens, with provisions for games, doing exercise, walking or running, and children's play areas. On weekend evenings, they are full with babies and school children accompanied by their parents.

It can also be seen that high school and university students are seriously studying in quiet places in these parks. This is very common during the time of examinations. But the lighting and seating arrangements of these places have not been designed for reading. The designers of these parks might not have thought of such a use. As a result, students are straining their eyes studying in the dim light, without proper seating facilities.

It is a fact that many students prefer to read or study in the public parks rather than their homes, though it is harmful to their eyesight. Thus it is highly desirable to set apart quiet areas for students with proper lighting and seating facilities.

Dr Raju M Mathew, Al Ain

Abu Dhabi Media Summit's lessons

In reference to the news article Cameron says 3D will rule the screen (March 18), I did enjoy the 3D master class led by James Cameron and Carlos Saldanha during the Abu Dhabi Media Summit. (Well, it was more of a discourse on 3D best practices and emphasis on good storytelling in 3D, rather than the typical master class).

It was nice seeing so much interest from Emirati media students. Having worked as a stereographer on the recently produced Abu Dhabi Traffic Police video, I see the need for more local talent in creating stereoscopic 3D media.

Clyde DeSouza, Abu Dhabi

The Beach Boys have come back

The article Dig up that old surf board - and Smile(March 17) announced that the Beach Boys are back with a 44-year-old album Smile. The release of the lost Smile album is wonderful news. Bootlegs have circulated for years so now it's time the fans get to hear the album as close to the way it was intended to be heard: building on what the band accomplished with the landmark Pet Sounds.

Smile is sure to include the trademark tight harmonies of the Beach Boys. One of the best examples is Sloop John B, the biggest hit from Pet Sounds. The song is an updated version of a West Indies folk song.

Jensen Lee, Abu Dhabi

Another desert potato blooms

I refer to the profile of the half-Emirati, half-Irish Khalid Saeed in the news article Shamrock that grew in the desert (March 17). And I thought I was one of the few half-Irish, desert-dwelling spuds around.

A retrospective Happy St Paddy's to the rest of us missing our greener home.

Khuloud al Mucharrekn, Abu Dhabi