UAE interested to develop nuclear power

Middle East: Six Arab states have intentions to develop domestic nuclear power programmes, it has been revealed according to a Middle East economic magazine.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia are embarking on nuclear energy programmes.

Tunisia and the UAE have also shown an interest.

In an interview with The Middle East Economic Digest magazine the deputy director-general of the IAEA, Tomihiro Taniguch, said, “Some Middle East states, including Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia, have shown initial interest (in attaining) nuclear power primarily for desalination purposes."

The business weekly reported UAE and Tunisia’s nuclear power plans as being at an “infant stage”, but all countries reflected “renewed interest in nuclear power” it said.

Preliminary discussions have already taken place and the IAEA’s technical advisory programme has offered to help the Arab governments with studies into creating power plants.

The report comes amid western fears that Iran is increasing its nuclear capabilities to build atomic bombs and the six world powers seek to forge a UN resolution to force Iran to suspend its nuclear programme.