The United Arab Emirates has concluded an agreement with Australia regarding their ambitions to have a nuclear plant that will function under a civilian nuclear programme. The agreement aims at facilitating the cooperation between the two countries for the possible shipments of uranium from the pacific country to the Gulf nation
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan signed on behalf of the Emirates as their Foreign Minister and his Australian homologue Bob Carr represented Australia. The agreement which was signed in UAE will provide a framework for cooperation and ease the commercial exchange of nuclear materials and equipment for the Gulf state as Australia is renowned as a major producer in Uranium. However, the latter didn’t dwell on the specific terms for imports.
Emirates Foreign Minister said the agreement was possible because of the close ties the two countries share. He also recalled the “vast experience” that Australia has in the domain and their possession of 40% of the world’s uranium reserve makes it a sound agreement. Nevertheless, he insisted that as of present, the United Arab Emirates is not considering projects for enrichment and nuclear waste treatment. The reason why prices and quantities are not mentioned in the agreement is because according to him, “it is up to future work between importers and exports to reach suitable prices and quantities.”
Bob Carr said that Australia will set up the framework for the supply and they will not take back the radioactive waste.
After more than 25 years, UAE is the first country to build a new nuclear power plant although it signed an agreement with the US not to enrich uranium or reprocess spent nuclear fuel for plutonium which can be used in nuclear bombs.