UAE announces nuclear plans

The UAE is to set up a fully transparent nuclear energy programme following an agreement signed with France to help the UAE develop peaceful nuclear power capability. According to a memo submitted by Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the move represents an “environmentally promising and commercially competitive option which could make a significant contribution to the UAE’s economy and future energy security”. Two new-generation nuclear reactors could be up and running by 2016. The UAE will work in partnership and seek expertise from the governments and companies of responsible nations.

Other regional developments include a US$1.1 billion power grid to connect Gulf Arab states. The grid will pave the way for a regional electricity market and encourage private sector companies to participate in power generation projects in the GCC. In the longer term, it may become part of a wider pan-Arab electricity system and link up to a Mediterranean grid.

39 new electricity substations are planned for Bahrain with a budget of US$317.5 million. The project involves laying new power lines, establishing new 220kv substations and reinforcing existing substations by adding or replacing 220kv and 66kv transformers and switchgears.

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