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Moscow to help UAE with region’s largest nuclear energy program

Special to WorldTribune.com

ABU DHABI — Russia and the United Arab Emirates have signed a
nuclear cooperation agreement.

The two countries said they would cooperate in nuclear energy as part of
UAE plans to establish a network of reactors over the next 20 years.

UAE Energy Minister Mohammed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli. /AFP/Joe Klamar

Officials said the accord, signed on Dec. 17, would pave the way for
technology transfer and nuclear material to Abu Dhabi, with the largest nuclear program in the Middle East.

“The agreement signed today has a primary objective to facilitate and
strengthen cooperation with the Russian government and Russian firms in the field of peaceful nuclear energy,” UAE Energy Minister Mohammed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli said.

Officials said the agreement could make Russia’s Atomic Energy
Cooperation, known as Rosatom, a leading supplier to Abu Dhabi’s nuclear program.

They said the Kremlin was prepared to provide technology, equipment, nuclear fuel and expertise to a UAE program estimated at $40 billion and so far led by South Korea.

“The agreement is consistent with UAE government policy on the
development of peaceful nuclear energy program in cooperation with
responsible governments of expertise in this field,” Al Hamli said.

In August 2012, the UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. the prime
contractor of the nuclear energy project, signed a contract with Russia’s
Tenex.

The contract called for the supply of uranium to the UAE’s first
nuclear power plant, meant to be established at Barakah. The deal also
called on Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, to assist in uranium conversion
and enrichment.

“It [the agreement] creates the legislative basis to further business
cooperation,” Rosatom director-general Sergey Kirienko said.

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