UAE refutes Qatari claims over nuclear plant safety concerns

Barakah power plant is due to open in 2020
UAE refutes Qatari claims over nuclear plant safety concerns
Ambassador Hamad Alkaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA.
By Staff writer
Thu 21 Mar 2019 08:29 AM

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has refuted allegations raised by Qatar about safety at its nuclear power plant due to open next year.

"The United Arab Emirates is not aware of such concerns related to the safety of its nuclear power plant. The UAE adheres to its commitment to the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation as outlined in its nuclear policy in 2008,” Ambassador Hamad Ali Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was quoted as saying in a statement issued on Wednesday by the state-owned WAM news agency.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that Qatar had complained to the IAEA that the UAE’s Barakah power plant, which is the world's largest such facility under construction and is due to open in 2020, was a “serious threat to the stability of the region and its environment”.

“The UAE nuclear energy programme conforms to the safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the international best practices, and ensuring its implementation in the development of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant,” the WAM statement added.

“The Barakah Nuclear Power Plant is using the advanced third generation nuclear technology, comprising four reactors of a modern Korean design with advanced safety features. Moreover, the UAE received in the past decade more than 10 peer-review missions covering various aspects from nuclear infrastructure, the legal and regulatory system, nuclear safety, security, emergency preparedness and nonproliferation and the reports of these missions are publicly available.

“The UAE does not believe that there is any concern regarding the safety of its nuclear power plant, however we encourage interested countries to use the right venues where such information on nuclear safety can be provided and questions can be addressed. In particular, to participate at the Convention on Nuclear Safety review process to learn more about the advanced safety approach of UAE Nuclear Energy Progamme," it added.

Relations between the two Gulf neighbours have been strained since the UAE joined Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain in severing diplomatic, trade and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017 over claims the Doha government supported terrorists, a claim Qatar has denied.

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