UAE Opens Operations at First Nuclear Site, Promises No Mischief
The United Arab Emirates launched its new nuclear power plant on Saturday, the nation’s first such facility and also the first nuclear site in the Arab world. The plant, located on the country’s western coast near borders with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, was constructed with approval and oversight by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the United States, and according to UAE leadership is intended solely for peaceful energy production. The 2009 pact signed with the US allows the UAE to receive relevant materials and the required technical know-how, as long as it does not turn to naughty endeavors such as uranium enrichment. “We proudly witness the start of Barakah nuclear power plant operations, in alignment with the highest international safety standards,” Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the country’s de facto ruler, tweeted on Saturday. Not everyone was pleased, however, with the UAE’s new South Korean-designed toy. Neighbor Qatar expressed concern over the facility’s use and lodged an official complaint with the IAEA in recent months, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt have begun developing their own nuclear plants, all with the declared purpose of lessening their reliance on oil and turning to more effective energy sources.