UAE's N-approach a robust model for GCC: Al Kaabi

The UAE's partnership with the Korean nuclear industry has the potential to be expanded to support other GCC countries' plans to develop new nuclear energy sectors in the region, said Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA).



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Published: Mon 14 Feb 2011, 11:26 PM

Last updated: Thu 1 Feb 2024, 12:14 PM

Speaking at ‘GCC Days’ in Seoul, he said that the UAE approach and contract with the Korean-led consortium demonstrated the viability of a robust model for the introduction of nuclear energy programmes in the Gulf region, a model that could serve as a viable approach for other GCC countries who experience similar challenges and conditions as the UAE.

“Nuclear energy is emerging in the GCC as a proven, reliable, commercially competitive option to meet aggressive energy demand growth in the future. Nuclear programme requires a set of capabilities and skills not readily available in the GCC countries.”

A long-term partner is a key for a successful deployment of any new nuclear energy programme in the GCC countries, he added. “South Korea, with their extensive experience and advanced nuclear sector, constitute a viable long-term partner to support the development of nuclear energy programmes in the GCC region.”

He added that more progress is needed among the GCC countries to explore potential areas of cooperation in this area with the support of experienced international partners such as South Korea.

“GCC countries are facing a period of huge increase in energy demand as we build the critical infrastructure we need to grow and develop. Such growth is not possible without electricity,” he pointed out.

By 2020, the UAE’s energy demand will rise significantly reaching over 40,000 MW, an increase at the rate of 9 per cent per year. Other GCC countries are more or less experiencing the same projection.

Nuclear energy provides answers to many of the issues faced with conventional energy sources in the areas of the environment, safety, economics, reliability and sustainability.

Following a comprehensive review of all the excellent bids from some of the world’s top nuclear suppliers, the UAE has determined that the Korean KEPCO team is best equipped to fulfil the government’s partnership requirements to develop the UAE nuclear energy ambitious programme.

A contract was signed in December of 2009 to design, construct and jointly operate the first four nuclear power reactors in the UAE, a major milestone for both the UAE and South 


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