Business, Politics

The Middle East goes nuclear

By Branko Brkic 28 December 2009

The UAE has awarded the construction contract to have its first nuclear power plant operational by 2017, and three more online by 2020. And they aren't pebble bed reactors.

The first non-military nuclear reactor will start construction in 2012, after the United Arab emirates announced the award of a $20 billion contract to the Korea Electric Power Corporation and its partners on the weekend.

That contract covers everything up to startup for each of the 1,400 megawatt reactors, but a contract to run them once completed is still outstanding.

There aren’t any surprises in the technology or providers selected – the UAE was hardly going to take chances on new and unproven technologies such as SA’s homegrown white elephant, the pebble bed modular reactor. The likes of Hyundai will handle the heavy engineering side, while Westinghouse will make the nuclear components.

Read more: AFP, Reuters