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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

UAE’s lesson to the world in how to build a nuclear industry

Experts said the UAE was on the right track with both nuclear power and renewable energy sources being introduced.
The first and second reactors at the nuclear power plant in Barakah, Western Region of Abu Dhabi on January 13, 2016. Christopher Pike / The National
The first and second reactors at the nuclear power plant in Barakah, Western Region of Abu Dhabi on January 13, 2016. Christopher Pike / The National

ABU DHABI // The UAE has a leading role in shaping the future of nuclear power development, industry experts say.

They say the country has made serious investment in bringing in some of the best technical staff and policy professionals.

“It built up its own cadre and infrastructure and set an example by taking safety, security and non-proliferation concerns very seriously,” said Elena Sokova, deputy director at the James Martin Centre for Non-Proliferation Studies.

“The country should continue to pursue the highest standards and be a role model for other newcomer countries.

“It would be very helpful if the UAE can share its expertise and insights about the efforts and costs it takes to make it right.”

The four reactors in Barakah are due to be fully operational in 2020, providing a quarter of the country’s electricity needs. The first is due to go online next year.

“This is a good example, especially from a country with ample oil resources,” said John Bernhard, former Danish ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“It is, of course, also important in the UAE to make sure that a very high level of nuclear safety and security is achieved.”

Dr Peter Bode, former associate professor in nuclear science and technology at the Delft University in The Netherlands, said it was crucial to tell the public how much radioactive waste was produced and how it would be handled.

“Having a website where people can find the daily emissions is important,” Dr Bode said.

“Open information to the public takes away the myths of nuclear.”

cmalek@thenational.ae