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ABU DHABI, December 17 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and the United Arab Emirates signed an agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of atomic energy in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Director General of the Russian Atomic Energy State Corporation (Rosatom) Sergei Kiriyenko and UAE Energy Minister Muhammad bin Dhain al-Hamili put their signatures to the document, which is expected to create a solid legal basis for bilateral cooperation in the sphere of the peaceful use of atomic energy, exchange of technologies and conclusion of contracts for the supply of nuclear materials for the needs of power engineering industry.
“This is a comprehensive agreement, which sets up a basis for cooperation in the whole range of the civil atomic energy, including the fundamental and applied studies for the needs of the peaceful use of the atomic energy, as well as designing, construction, commissioning and decommissioning of research reactors and NPPs, production of radio-isotopes and their use in industry, healthcare and agriculture,” the Rosatom director general told reporters at a briefing, commenting on the goals of the document.
In Kiriyenko’s words, “the Russian government attaches great strategic importance to the agreement, fully supports the UAE promising program in this sphere and is ready to do its best to support the United Arab Emirates in the implementation of the program of the kind.”
The Rosatom head pointed to the fact that fuel supply contracts for the Baraq NPP have already been signed in compliance with tenders conducted by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. Russia’s Technoexport and Canada’s Uranium UAN, which control stake belongs to Russia’s side, undertook liabilities for conversion and processing of raw uranium into the low-enriched nuclear fuel for the Emirates’ four nuclear power plants.
According to Kiriyenko, the document signed “will make it possible to promptly and timely fulfil our contracts, thus raising trade turnover by hundreds of millions dollars between Russia and the United Arab Emirates.”
“The UAE’s atomic energy program will continue developing and we are ready to take part in the creation of research reactors, low-capacity reactors of new generation, cooperate in the sphere of healthcare and processing of radioactive wastes, as well as to share with our unique experience with our UAE counterparts,” he added.
“Russia is willingly supports the UAE program for the development of peaceful atomic energy, as the country made significant decision to diversify energy resources, in spite of colossal oil and gas reserves, like those in Russia,” the Rosatom director general said, stressing, “This confirmed the competitiveness of the atomic energy sphere.”
Herein, Kiriyenko expressed confidence that “the United Arab Emirates will fully guarantee the non-proliferation regime in the format of the fulfilment of the peaceful atomic energy program.”
The UAE energy minister, in turn, highly assessed the agreement signed and stated that he considered the document as a historically important step, which opens for Russia new prospects for its participation in this project of large dimensions.
According to al-Hamili, “Atomic energy cooperation is an important element of our politics.” “Up to date, all frameworks for the interaction and exchange of technologies between the two countries have been created,” he said.
“Russia has already got a share in the supplies of fuel for NPPs and we hope for the soonest implementation of this intergovernmental agreement, which undoubtedly will give a fresh impetus to the development of comprehensive relations between the UAE and Russia,” the minister said.
Earlier, UAE signed agreements of the kind with the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, France and South Korea.
As a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) since 1995, the United Arab Emirates concluded the whole package of documents linked with the development of the atomic energy sector. In order to promote the negotiating process with the IAEA, the Emirates government adopted a federal law on peaceful use of atomic energy, on the basis of which the UAE created the Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.
In March 2011, South Korea’s KEPCO concern won a tender for the construction of four power units of the Emirates’ first nuclear power plant. The first power unit is planned to be commissioned in 2017.