“Competition for UAE contracts could drive regional nuclear energy race”

“Competition for UAE contracts could drive regional nuclear energy race”
October 20-25, 2009
     The US Congress has approved a 123 Agreement with the UAE, enabling bilateral nuclear cooperation with “unprecedented commitments” to ensure the peaceful nature of the UAE’s budding nuclear program. The agreement will allow the US to compete for $40 billion of nuclear development contracts (Reuters). Andrew Bast describes the UAE’s pledge to outsource the entire nuclear fuel cycle (likely to France) as “groundbreaking”, and the US hopes the UAE will serve as a model for peaceful nuclear development (Newsweek).
     However, there remains concern that the deal could trigger a regional nuclear energy race providing sensitive nuclear technologies to unstable regimes. Iran could also obtain nuclear materials through its strong trade ties with the UAE (Foreign Policy, Reuters (2)). Fareed Mahdy writes that France, the US, Japan and South Korea are “pushing” Arab states toward a nuclear energy race as they compete for lucrative development contracts (IPS News).
Reuters | Newsweek | Foreign Policy | Reuters (2) | IPS News

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