UAE energy experts have started the process of locating possible sites for the country's first three nuclear power stations, the Gulf News reported on Wednesday.Khalid Malallah Al-Awadi, a UAE energy expert, told the Gulf News that one potential site was along the sparsely-populated coastline between Abu Dhabi and Ruwais. "Two nuclear power plants could be built here, 50km apart," he said. "As well, there's room to put one up in Fujairah."
Current nuclear technologies require access to large quamtities of water for production processes, cooling and venting mechanisms, and easy shipping access for both nuclear fuel and spent nuclear rods, the paper added.
A nuclear plants typically takes a minimum of seven years to become fully operational from planning to completion and by 2020, officials expect UAE demand to exceed 40,800 megawatts (MW), compared to current capacity of 18,000MW, based on projected growth rate of 9 percent, according to the paper.
Each 1,500 megawatt reactor is expected to cost $7 billion at current prices, it added.
The paper quoted Al-Awadi as recommending that the UAE government enter into power-purchasing contracts with nuclear power-generating companies based in the US, France, Russia and Japan.