Canada, UAE sign cooperation accord

20 September 2012

The trading of nuclear technology and materials between Canada and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now take place after a cooperation agreement was signed between the two countries.

Canada-UAE 20 September 2012 (UAE MOFA)
Al Nahyan and Baird sign the nuclear cooperation agreement (Image: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

A civilian nuclear cooperation agreement was signed by Canadian foreign affairs minister John Baird and his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Ottawa on 18 September. The aim of the cooperation agreement is to create a framework that will allow members of Canada's nuclear industry to cooperate with civilian nuclear facilities in the UAE that come under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards.

The following day an administrative arrangement was signed between the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This arrangement implements the provisions of the nuclear cooperation agreement to ensure the peaceful use of Canadian nuclear items authorized for export by the CNSC. Together, the nuclear cooperation agreement and the administrative arrangement will allow Canadian companies to export nuclear items for peaceful uses, in accordance with Canada's nuclear non-proliferation policy.

The administrative arrangement was signed by CNSC president Michael Binder and permanent representative of the UAE to the IAEA Hamad Al Kaabi. The CNSC is responsible for implementing Canada's international nuclear non-proliferation, safeguards and security obligations, in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

Baird commented, "Canada can help the UAE meet its growing energy needs. This agreement provides a number of opportunities for our countries to work together as strategic partners, and for Canadian companies to offer the full array of their equipment, services and uranium supply to the UAE's civilian nuclear market."

The UAE already has nuclear cooperation agreements in place with the USA, the UK, South Korea, France and Australia, plus a memorandum of understanding with Japan.

In a $20 billion deal announced in December 2009, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) selected a Korean consortium led by Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco) to build four APR-1400 reactors. All four units planned for Barakah, close to the border with Saudi Arabia, should be in operation by 2020. The first concrete for the initial unit was poured in mid-July.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News