Dawn News

UAE's first nuclear plant gets construction permit

Power plant—File Photo
Power plant—File Photo

ABU DHABI: Construction work can start on the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power plant, the government said on Wednesday, opening the way for a consortium of South Korean companies to build the multi-billion dollar project.

In December 2009, the UAE awarded a group led by Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) a contract to build four nuclear reactors to meet surging demand for electricity. But Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) has been waiting for the licence before it starts pouring concrete for the first two reactors at the Barakah site.

The March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, triggered by an earthquake and tsunami, prompted countries across the world to reconsider their atomic ambitions. But the UAE's nuclear regulator 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 Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation.

The consortium will build and operate four 1,400 megawatt reactors in the UAE; the first is expected to start operating in 2017, and the others by 2020.

The UAE, the world's third biggest oil exporter, wants to save its reserves for export rather than use them to generate electricity, while limiting its imports of natural gas for power plants.

KEPCO in April said it would begin talks with the UAE in 2013 on a new deal to build more reactors.

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Comments (6) Closed

Shehzad Zafar
Jul 18, 2012 03:48pm
New jobs for Indians
taranveer singh
Jul 18, 2012 04:35pm
why only for Indians ? nt pakis?
ahmad butt
Jul 19, 2012 05:52am
Its natural and honest, indian are more educated yet submissive when it comes to working with an arrogant rich arab, westerners cannot tolerate bad social skills, and pakistanis who are educated also dont like rude behavoir but arabs dont respect pakistanis as they would to white people
Jul 19, 2012 08:28am
Because Indians really know how to 'please' and get the job...Pakistanis are just too honorable to do that. Anyways, Pakistani nuclear workers have history of stealing things!!! lol
Jul 19, 2012 08:32am
indians can be hired easily at cheap wages as the situation is in UAE services
Jul 20, 2012 06:25am
Let us try to live with love and not hate. At the time of Moghuls and even before that all Indians including present Pakistani and present Indians lived in love, peace and harmony. Lets respect the feelings of each other. Islam teaches love and not hate. How will you propagate peace (Islam) when you start with hate.