UAE becomes first Arab nation to open nuclear power plant

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But the UAE said it considered natural gas and renewable energy sources before rejecting them in favor of nuclear power because they would not produce enough for its needs.

Proving that his intentions are peaceful, he recalls his collaborations with the International Atomic Energy Agency, which reviewed the Barakah project, and the United States, with which he signed a cooperation agreement in the field of nuclear energy in 2009 which allows it to receive nuclear materials. and technical assistance from the United States while preventing it from enriching uranium and other possible bomb development activities.

This did not convince Qatar, which last year lodged a complaint with the international nuclear watchdog over the Barakah plant, calling it a “serious threat to the stability of the region and its environment” .

The UAE’s oil exports represent about a quarter of its total gross domestic product. Despite its oil supply, it has imported more and more natural gas in recent years, in part to power its energy-intensive desalination plants.

“We are proud to witness the start of operation of the Barakah nuclear power plant, in accordance with the highest international safety standards,” Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE’s de facto ruler, tweeted on Saturday.

The new nuclear facility, located in the Gharbiya region on the coast near Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is the first of several potential nuclear power plants in the Middle East. Egypt plans to build a power plant with four nuclear reactors.

Saudi Arabia is also building a civilian nuclear reactor while pursuing a nuclear cooperation agreement with the United States, although the Trump administration has said it will only sign such an agreement if it includes guarantees against development. weapons.

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