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UAE to Become First Arab Country with Nuclear Power


Iran is on its way to having nuclear energy, but the United Arab Emirates may get there first. Yesterday, the UAE embassy in Washington announced that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to sign a nuclear cooperation pact with the country.  The UAE agreed to numerous conditions for Rice’s approval, including inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency and a ban on building uranium enrichment plants.

The country expects to have a working reactor by 2017. In the meantime, British, French, and American companies are competing for the contract.

Eventually, the UAE wants 25% of its power to come from nuclear sources. That means building at least six nuclear plants, each valued at approximately $5 billion.

Many members of Congress in the United States are protesting the reactor, claiming that a nuclear stockpile in the UAE will add volatility to the region. But if the UAE will allow inspectors to examine its reactor, there is little reason to complain— especially since the country needs to prepare for electricity demands that will nearly double by 2020.

Photo Credit: CC licensed by Flickr user jdj150

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Written By

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.


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