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Fri 17 Jun 2011 01:38 PM

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ENEC says 85% back nuclear power move in UAE

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp releases results of survey as Germany chooses to close reactors

ENEC says 85% back nuclear power move in UAE
(Image for illustrative purposes only)

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp, the developer of nuclear power plants in the UAE, said most respondents in a national poll support the country’s development of nuclear power plants.

Of 750 residents interviewed in the country, 85 percent “believe that peaceful nuclear energy is important for the nation,” Emirates Nuclear said in a statement distributed in Abu Dhabi.

Nuclear power projects in some European countries have been halted amid public fears over reactor safety following the March meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi reactor in Japan.

Chancellor Angela Merkel endorsed a blueprint last month to shut Germany’s nuclear-power plants by 2022, making the nation the biggest to exit atomic power.

Italy has also put its nuclear plans on hold following the accident in Japan arising from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Switzerland deferred plans for new reactors and the UK said it may delay its programme.

The UAE awarded Korea Electric Power Corp an $18.6 billion contract in December 2009 to build four nuclear plants by the end of this decade.

The Gulf nation is turning to atomic power to help satisfy growing energy demand as its expanding industries deplete available supplies of natural gas.

The federation will be the first Arab country in the Gulf to develop nuclear power if it starts operating a first reactor in May 2017 as planned.

Iran has already built a nuclear plant in Bushehr, and Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations are studying the possible use of nuclear technology to meet greater domestic energy needs.

Peak power demand in the UAE will double to about 45,000 megawatts by 2020 from 22,000 megawatts now, David Scott, the executive director for energy and economy at the Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, said in April. Abu Dhabi is the country’s capital and largest emirate.

The UAE appointed Hans Blix, the former chief weapons inspector for the United Nations, as head of an advisory board to support the national nuclear programme.

The country plans to search for uranium in its western region, Al-Ittihad reported in December, citing Emirates Nuclear CEO Mohamed al-Hammadi.

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Jack Murphy 8 years ago

Lacking of safe waste deposits is reason #1 for most every German opposing this technology. What the remaining risk looks like controlling this technology check with Fukushima. Germans traditionally do not fear new technologies - they develop them but they don't believe in poisening their home for millions of years with nuclear waste. As long as there is no such thing as a final and safe recycling exisiting with NO RISK FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS remaining, it's just another scrupel-free profit source banking on ignorance of people. The UAE are gifted by nature in a way Germans can only dream of: Intensive sun all year, space in desert for sun-power plants. Electricity generated by sun is available unlimited and the most productive, becoming cheaper every year with advancing technology. Tell this to the 750 residents you questioned - I wonder if it's the same.

bkay 8 years ago

Please let us have an independent survey, and not just a few hundred people being asked whether Nuclear is a good alternative for complying with future demand as fossil fuels are running out. It is the content and formulation of the question which determines the response. These are completely meaningless percentages, and not objective at all, it is like asking Emirates employees what they think of their airline.