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Cablegate: Uae Explores Building Nuclear Plant for Power,

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Diana T Fritz 02/05/2007 05:28:49 PM From DB/Inbox: Search Results

Cable
Text:


UNCLAS ABU DHABI 03412

SIPDIS
CXABU:
ACTION: AMB
INFO: POL ECON DCM

DISSEMINATION: AMB
CHARGE: PROG

APPROVED: DCM:RALBRIGHT
DRAFTED: ECON:ACURTIS
CLEARED: ECON:OJOHN

VZCZCADI351
RR RUEHC RUEHZM RUEHAM RUEHUL RUEHDE RHEBAAA
DE RUEHAD #3412 2721339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281339Z SEP 04
FM AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6115
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0501
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0117
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 4363
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC

UNCLAS ABU DHABI 003412

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR NEA/ARP

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG ECON EINV KNNP GM TC
SUBJECT: UAE EXPLORES BUILDING NUCLEAR PLANT FOR POWER,
WATER GENERATION


1. (U) Summary: The UAE signed an MOU with the Government of
South Korea to undertake a feasibility study regarding
building a nuclear power plant in UAE. If constructed, the
plant could potentially double the country,s power and water
generation capabilities, and it would be the first nuclear
power plant in the Gulf. End summary.

2. (SBU) The Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Authority
(ADWEA) signed an MOU with the South Korean Ministry of
Science and Technology this month to begin a feasibility
study to explore constructing a nuclear power plant in UAE.
ADWEA,s director of planning and development told econoff
that the South Korean Government approached the UAE about
undertaking this project, and that the UAEG was interested in
seeing if such a plant could produce more power and water at
less cost than the current gas powered facilities. He
explained that the UAE is particularly interested in the
potential water production capabilities of a nuclear power
plant (up to 40 million gallons of water a day). According
to ADWEA,s research center director, the heat produced as a
by-product from the power generation would be used to
desalinate water.

3. (SBU) The ADWEA director of planning and development
noted that the UAE has a ten-year strategic plan to ensure
there are no power or water shortages, and a key part of the
plan is to double power production by 2010 so the country
produces 9,000 megawatts per day. He stated that the UAEG
could spend as much as $10 billion over the next five years
in order to reach this goal, and if the nuclear plant could
generate the same amount of electricity at a lower cost, it
is something the UAEG is interested in pursuing.

4. (SBU) In a separate meeting with the ADWEA research
center director, he noted that the UAE has very cheap
domestic and imported natural gas supplies and was skeptical
the project would actually produce power and water at less
cost. Comment: The decision to proceed with this project
will be a high-level decision based on the results of the
feasibility study and political considerations. It is
possible that supply security and diversification will be
just as much a factor in determining whether to construct the
plant as cost. End comment.

5. (U) If constructed, the plant would be the first nuclear
power plant in the Arab Gulf, and it will be the first plant
in the world to produce desalinated water as a by-product.
When asked about whether the IAEA had been apprised of the
study, both ADWEA officials responded that the South Korean
Government assured ADWEA that the IAEA knew of and supported
the project, and the research center director noted that IAEA
would be consulted throughout the feasibility study. He also
explained that the plant would be constructed with
SMART*System Integrated Modular Atomic Reactor*technology,
which is an advanced safety system. The study should begin
in January and could be completed within the next two years.
If approved, construction could begin by late 2007 or early
2008.

6. (SBU) The director of planning noted that South Korea
also approached the Jordanian Government about a similar
project, but he did not know whether they were planning on
pursuing it.
SISON

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