Japanese nuclear cooperation with UAE

27 February 2014

Japan's ongoing commitment to nuclear energy has been underlined by an agreement on cooperation to develop the technology with the United Arab Emirates.

The two country's leaders met in Tokyo yesterday to finalise a range of trade and cooperation deals. The one concerning nuclear power was signed by Toshimitsu Motegi from the Japan's Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) and the UAE's energy minister Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei.

While the UAE is a new entrant to nuclear power with a South Korean consortium constructing the country's first four nuclear power reactors, Japan has been using nuclear power since 1963. However, the accident at Fukushima Daiichi in 2011 led to an ongoing shutdown of Japan's reactor fleet and increased its need to import enormous amounts of LNG on short notice. Around 30% of this fuel is being sourced from the Middle East.

Al Nayan and Abe, February 2014 (Kantei) 460x287
His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (centre left) talks with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe (centre right) (Image: Kantei)

Throughout the Japanese nuclear shutdown, the country has continued to honour its overseas political commitments to nuclear power development in other countries. In Vietnam, Japan is to supply the country's second nuclear power plant. Japanese commercial companies continued to invest. Hitachi and Toshiba bought into in new nuclear projects in the UK - Horizon and NuGen respectively - while trading house Itochu has a stake in Turkey's Akkuyu project.

This week Japan announced a draft energy policy that could see some of its nuclear power plants return to normal operation, subject to adherence to new safety standards and the approval of the new and strongly independent Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News