UAE and Australia agree uranium deal

Agreement between two governments will allow Gulf state to secure uranium supplies
UAE and Australia agree uranium deal
Australias Foreign Minister Bob Carr (L) and his Emirate counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan (R) (AFP/Getty Images).
By Claire Valdini
Wed 01 Aug 2012 11:22 AM

The UAE and Australia have signed an agreement allowing the Gulf state to secure Australian uranium supplies.

Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, said the deal will enable the holder of the world’s biggest uranium reserves to sell uranium and equipment to the UAE. However, the country will not take back the radioactive waste.

“It is a commitment by the Australian government setting up conditions under which nuclear material will be supplied to the UAE,” Carr said. “It sets up a framework under which we will become a reliable supplier of uranium to the UAE.”

The agreement follows two weeks after the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) granted approval for the construction of the GCC’s first nuclear energy plant, which will be built by a South Korean-led consortium.

Korea Electric Power Corporation, the country’s biggest electricity producer, won a contract in 2009 to complete four nuclear reactors in the UAE. The two reactors in Barakah are each capable of producing 1,400 megawatts of electricity and are expected to be operational by 2017.

The UAE, the world’s third largest oil exporter, has continued to plough ahead with its atomic programme even as other countries halt their plans after last year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused radioactive material to be released from its Fukushima plant.

FANR last month said its project would avoid mistakes made in Japan. “We have tried to learn as many lessons as we could from Fukushima, and we asked ENEC to address the issue in a report, which they did,” said William Travers, director general of the FANR.

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