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The UAE has signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with Australia to permit the Gulf country to purchase Australian uranium as it makes the switch to nuclear power
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the agreement with Bob Carr, the Australian foreign minister, which defines the conditions under which the uranium will be supplied once the Al Baraka power station becomes operational in Abu Dhabi.
Australia has about 40 per cent of the world’s uranium reserves and is the largest supplier of uranium fuel in the world.
Although rich in oil, the UAE has opted for nuclear energy for domestic power generation and in July became the first country in more than two-and-a-half decades to begin building a maiden nuclear power plant.
The agreement between the two governments defines the structures under which a commercial arrangement can be reached between the supplying company and the UAE power company.
Senator Carr said the agreement allowed a comprehensive range of safeguards to ensure Australian nuclear material was not used for anything other than peaceful purposes.