Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Milestones in UAE nuclear project

The nuclear power station at Barakah is more than an exercise in construction prowess and energy ambition. It is an opportunity for the UAE to lead by example.

When the first concrete was poured at the first unit of Barakah nuclear power station in July, the UAE's long march towards nuclear energy began in earnest. And it confirmed the nation's commitment to one of the most open, transparent civilian nuclear power projects.

This week brought another milestone. Korea's President Lee Myung-bak visited the construction site in Al Gharbia on Wednesday. Seoul's Korea Electric Power Corporation is building the plant, which is due to start producing power in 2017. The visit was also a reminder that the nuclear programme is a truly global undertaking.

By 2020, when all four of Barakah's planned reactors are online, the site will supply a quarter of Abu Dhabi's power. This is a crucial foundation of the country's development.

But Barakah is more than an exercise in construction prowess and energy ambition. The UAE has an opportunity to lead by example.

This is happening at Barakah. In 2009, the UAE signed an agreement with the United States for nuclear cooperation, giving up its right to enrich and reprocess fuel, and has signed other agreements with France and Britain to purchase uranium. At the same time, the country has created an independent regulator to monitor licensing, construction and operation of the plant - the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation. In 2010, the UAE became the region's first country voted to the board of the International Atomic Energy Agency. And it created an independent board of experts to oversee the entire process, spearheaded by the former IAEA chief, Hans Blix.

A peaceful nuclear programme with an emphasis on safety will lead to important reductions in carbon emissions and diversify energy sources. But for the UAE, it can also serve as a blueprint for more transparent government, and an opportunity for international collaboration to be put to good use.

Transparency is the key ingredient to a safe, secure nuclear power programme. In this dimension, the UAE has made its commitment clear.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 The Retreat at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa will screen IPL games on request. Lee Hoagland / The National

Top five places to catch an IPL game in the UAE

Enjoy all the 20/20 cricket action at a sports lounge near you – whether in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or Dubai

This April 17 don’t take our word, we’ll take yours

Have a catchy caption for our picture above? Share it with us.

 Fans braved long queues and early morning hassles to buy IPL tickets in person rather than buy them online, such has been the enthusiasm for the tournament. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National

Love it, hate it but IPL is too big to be ignored

The tournament steamrolls its way through life perennially from the throes of extinction to the prospect of expansion; alive one moment through its on-field spectacle, dying the next because of another off-field wrangle.

 An employee plays the game Flappy Bird at a smartphone store in Hanoi. Hoang Dinh Nam / AFP

How Flappy Bird made app developer $50,000 a day

The game propelled the unknown Vietnamese developer Dong Nguyen to rock-star status.

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 A view of a defaced portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an anti-North Korean rally on the 102nd birthday of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung in central Seoul. Kim Hong-Ji / Reuters

Best photography from around the world today

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National