Bilateral secures UAE fuel supply

18 December 2012

Russia will legally be able to supply uranium as well as conversion and enrichment services to the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) first nuclear power plant under a newly signed cooperation agreement.

The cooperation agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy was signed by Rosatom general director Sergei Kiryenko and UAE energy minister Mohammed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi. Specifically, it creates the necessary legal basis for long-term uranium supply contracts signed earlier in the year by Rosatom and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) to be implemented.

The contract signed in August would see Russia's Techsnabexport (Tenex) supply about half of the enriched uranium to fuel the UAE's first nuclear power plant. It covers Russian natural uranium, conversion and enrichment services but not fuel fabrication: the enriched uranium is to be supplied to Kepco Nuclear Fuels, which will manufacture the fuel assemblies for use in the Barakah plant. First deliveries under the 15-year contract are scheduled for 2014.

As well as the contract with Russia, Enec also has contracts in place for uranium concentrates, conversion and enrichment services with Areva of France, for natural uranium with Canada-based Uranium One and UK-based Rio Tinto, conversion services with Converdyn of the USA and with UK-headquartered Urenco for enrichment services.

Al Hamli noted that the latest cooperation agreement is consistent with UAE policy on developing its national nuclear program. Construction formally began on the first of four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurised water reactors at Barakah in July. The first unit is scheduled to enter service in 2017.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News