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UAE nuclear reactor ready; Qatar views it as a threat

Image of nuclear reactors on 18 May 2012 [Peretz Partensky/Wikipedia]
Nuclear reactors, 21 April 2017 [Peretz Partensky/Wikipedia]

The United Arab Emirates Barakah nuclear power plant is ready to operate, the UAE’s state-run Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Tuesday.

Nawah Energy Company, the operator of the power plant, is concluding the final requirements,” WAM said. 

Barakah will be the UAE’s first nuclear plant and the world’s largest when completed, with four reactors and 5,600 megawatts (MW) of capacity, Reuters reported.

Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, a minister of state in the UAE government and also chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), drew attention to the nuclear power plants that will start supplying the country’s electricity grid for the first time later this year, WAM reported two weeks ago.

Underlining the myriad risks inherent in Barakah’s design, Qatar says UAE`s power plant activities are a threat to Gulf stability and the environment. Last year, in a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a Vienna based international organisation founded to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Qatar urged them to create a framework for regional nuclear security, Al Jazeera reported.

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