1 July 2011
United Arab Emirates and the experience of a nuclear newcomer
In 2008 the United Arab Emirates (UAE) adopted an official policy on the evaluation and potential development of peaceful nuclear energy. It was based on a study of viable options to meet future energy needs, and it focused on the potential benefits of nuclear power for the UAE people, the environment, and the economy. The policy included commitments to the highest standards of safety and security, complete operational transparency, and nonproliferation. It outlined a process for working with the International Atomic Energy Agency, foreign governments and nuclear companies, and expert organizations to develop a nuclear energy program. In less than four years, the UAE has established an independent Nuclear Regulatory Authority and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, selected a site for construction of its first nuclear power plant, and broken ground. The progress to date has proven that, with strong commitment and vision, safe and secure nuclear energy can be developed and sustained. The UAE’s program is on schedule to meet the growing energy needs of the country. But more important, it has become a model program for ensuring that safety, security, and nonproliferation are top priorities.