UAE targets 25 per cent of energy from nuclear by 2020

nuclear  cplbasiliskBy 2020, UAE is expecting nuclear power to account for as much as 25 per cent of its electricity. (Image source: cplbasilisk/Flickr)The UAE has revealed plans to draw 25 per cent of its power from nuclear energy by 2020, as the country looks to reduce its domestic reliance on fossil fuels and ensure it has enough oil to export

The UAE's recently appointed energy minister, Suhail Al Mazrouei, said, “The UAE needs to use less energy to help its economy expand. Work is now underway on 5,600MW of safe nuclear power for peaceful means.

“By 2020, we expect nuclear power to account for as much as 25 per cent of our electricity.”

Emirates Nuclear Energy (ENEC) had secured permission last year to construct two nuclear power units, the first in a string of civilian power plants planned in the Gulf.

The firm had said in March 2013 that it has applied to the country’s nuclear regulator for a license to build a third and fourth nuclear reactor in the western area of Abu Dhabi.

Mazrouei noted, “Our domestic consumption of oil and gas is rising fast. Moreover, we are already a net importer of natural gas.

“The UAE will invest billions of dollars in developing alternate sources of energy as part of plans to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons. Its planned nuclear reactors are set to be the first in a string of civilian power plants in the Middle East, potentially, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia.”

Hamad al-Kaabi, the Gulf state’s national representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’s nuclear watchdog, had recently said that the UAE has not yet finalised a strategy for managing spent fuel from the reactors, but a national waste strategy document is in advanced stages of negotiation.

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