UAE, US sign Nuclear Cooperation Deal
DUBAI — The United Arab Emirates and the United States have signed a landmark nuclear cooperation agreement, a key step that could help the UAE establish an atomic energy industry.
The 123 Agreement, after Section 123 of the US Atomic Energy Act, establishes a framework for commerce in civilian nuclear energy between the two countries. UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice signed the deal in Washington on Thursday.
“This agreement will benefit both of our countries, and is another example of the strong relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates,’’ Shaikh Abdullah said.
The UAE would be able to access significant capabilities and experience in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, he said.“This will allow the UAE to develop its civilian nuclear programme to the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation. The agreement will also open opportunities for US firms to be active participants in the UAE nuclear energy programme,’’ Shaikh Abdullah said.
Rice said the US applauded the AE’s commitment to the highest standards of safety and security on non-proliferation in its pursuit of nuclear power. She said she believed Congress would support the deal.
France signed an agreement for nuclear cooperation the UAE last year.
The UAE released a detailed policy documenton he evaluation and potential development of peaceful nuclear energy in April last year.
The policy was developed following a study that projected massive increases in demand for electricity. The study found that nuclear energy was a viable and compelling option for meeting the UAE’s electricity demand, which is calculated to more than double to 40,000 megawatts by 2020.
The UAE’s nuclear policy commitments include a pledge to forgo any domestic fuel enrichment or reprocessing capability, in favour of long-term external fuel supply arrangements.
With inputs fromWamand agencies
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