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UAE goes nuclear

UAE goes nuclear

Construction on the UAE’s first nuclear power plant is just around the corner, and we asked what you thought. The results are in.

September 6, 2010 3:18 by

The nuclear industry is coming to Dubai. Back in July, we reported that the nuclear regulatory authority had given its approval for preparatory work to begin at the proposed site of the UAE’s first atomic power station. And last month, Khaleej Times rejoiced (seriously, it did) as the UAE and the US signed a new agreement.

The agreement between the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the UAE and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the United States will allow the exchange of technical information and would also involve training of nuclear safety personnel and joint safety research, according to the paper.

“The UAE has set an exemplary precedent and proven how responsible behaviour, commitment and adherence to international safeguards can achieve the much coveted status of a civilian nuclear power,” said the paper in an editorial.

The Nationalsays the challenge now for the UAE is staffing the first plant. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (charged with developing and operating the country’s nuclear plants) hopes to train a generation of nationals to work in the nuclear sector. According to estimates more than 2,100 will need to be trained by 2020.

That is one of the challenges that we face here in the UAE,” said Dr. Abdullatif al Shamsi, the director general of the Institute of Applied Technology. “How do we create the manpower level to operate and maintain the nuclear power plants? In a society like the UAE it is a challenge because that level of technicians is not available.”

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