UAE vows transparency in nuclear energy quest

The United Arab Emirates will work closely with the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog for its planned nuclear power programme to assure the world it remains peaceful, its foreign minister said on Sunday.

UAE vows transparency in nuclear energy quest
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan said the close U.S. ally had discussed its plans with the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council among other countries.

"The United Arab Emirates recognises the special circumstances and considerations that surround not only the deployment of nuclear reactors but also the simple evaluation of such possibility," Sheikh Abdullah said.

"The government of the UAE wishes to make clear its peaceful and unambiguous objectives in respect of its current evaluation of a peaceful nuclear energy programme, as well as the potential future deployment of actual nuclear power generation," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah's remarks came in a statement as the Gulf Arab state issued a "white paper" on its nuclear plans.

The UAE had consultations with France, the United States, Britain, Russia, China, Germany, Japan and South Korea, he said.

Sheikh Abdullah said the UAE nuclear programme would be completely transparent, have the highest non-proliferation, security and safety standards and work closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. atomic watchdog.

The UAE has said it plans to establish a $100 million agency to look into developing nuclear energy to satisfy rising electricity demand as its economy booms on record oil income.

The UAE has said it would draw up a set of laws to govern the sector and establish a nuclear regulatory authority and an international advisory board of nuclear experts as well as to seek assistance from other governments.

The UAE would offer joint ventures to foreign investors to build and operate potential power plants using only advanced third-generation light water reactors, it said.

France's Total, Suez, and state nuclear reactor maker Areva said in January they would develop two third-generation nuclear reactors in the UAE with a possible start date of 2016.

An IAEA official told Reuters at the time that he did not expect to see a nuclear plant running in the Gulf before 2020.

Electricity demand in the Gulf Arab state has rocketed, straining the country's power grid, as record oil revenues fuel economic expansion and the population mushrooms.

Last Mod: 21 Nisan 2008, 11:16
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