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Aussie uranium for UAE's nuclear future?

Emirates to enter talks with Australia to fuel future energy needs

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Kevin Rudd, Australia's foreign minister, has annouced an agreement with the UAE over supply of uranium. (Getty Images)
Kevin Rudd, Australia's foreign minister, has annouced an agreement with the UAE over supply of uranium. (Getty Images)

The Australian government has announced it will soon begin negotiations with the UAE on a bilateral nuclear safeguards agreement on peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The UAE is just one of the regions in the Middle East struggling with providing for a constantly increasing demand for power. Its peaceful nuclear ambitions have been clear for a long time, and all sources point to a plant being operational by 2017.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, Australia’s foreign minister Kevin Rudd said: “The UAE is a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and has an additional protocol on strengthened safeguards with the International Atomic Energy Agency. A bilateral safeguards agreement with Australia is a further strict non-proliferation condition that Australia requires for supplying uranium.”

The UAE has estimated that annual peak demand for electricity will reach more than 40,000MW by 2020, and Rudd has welcomed its efforts to establish a responsible approach to nuclear power generation.

“Australia looks forward to continued close bilateral relations with the UAE, underpinned by significant shared interests, substantial trade links and strong defence ties,” said Rudd, adding: “The UAE is Australia's largest merchandise trading partner in the Middle East - I hope that it will serve as a model for other countries in the region."
 

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