EU ready to help Arab states acquire nuclear energy

EU ready to help Arab states acquire nuclear energy
Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:52:57

European Union foreign policy chief's spokesman Michael Mann says the bloc is ready to help Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or any other country that wished to obtain nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

In an interview with the Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper, he said the EU would support and help countries as long as they would respect the international criteria.

In December 2006, the six member states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Oman - announced that the Council was commissioning a study on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. France agreed to work with them on this goal, and Iran pledged assistance with nuclear technology.

Saudi Arabia plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years at a cost of more than $80 billion, with the first reactor on line in 2022. Riyadh projects 17 GW of nuclear capacity by 2032 to provide 15 percent of the power.

Kuwait is considering its own nuclear program for power and water, and in March 2009 moved to set up a national nuclear energy commission, in cooperation with the IAEA. In April 2010 it signed a nuclear cooperation agreement with France relating to a range of civil nuclear energy applications, including electricity generation, water desalination, research, agronomy, biology, earth sciences and medicine. In December 2010 the Kuwait Investment Authority agreed to take EUR 600 million equity (4.8 percent) in Areva. Kuwait also has nuclear cooperation agreements with USA, Russia and Japan.


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