Statement by the United Arab Emirates
Delivered by H.E. Suhail Al Mazroui, Minister of Energy and Industry
Mr. President, Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
At the outset, I would like to welcome you to the United Arab Emirates and to this special gathering here in Abu Dhabi to deliberate the future of nuclear energy and its contribution to sustainable development. This is a significant occasion as this is the first time that we are hosting the International Atomic Energy Agency’s prestigious conference in a nuclear new comer country . I would like to thank the International Atomic Energy Agency and the OECD / NEA for organizing such a high-level event in the UAE. We are looking forward to having fruitful discussions and producing appropriate recommendations .
Let me start with a quote by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. “Those who don’t think about energy aren’t thinking about the future”.
Energy is the engine for development and prosperity. Nuclear Energy is one of the lowest-carbon emission technologies for generating electricity.
Looking at the global map of the nuclear sector, currently there are over 448 nuclear reactors operating in 30 countries , producing one third of world’s clean energy . The outlook is positive with 57 reactors under construction including 4 in my country, and more countries are planning to introduce nuclear power. No doubt, Nuclear energy will have an important part to play in addressing one of the key challenges facing the world in the 21st century - securing reliable, efficient and sustainable supplies of clean energy.
The United Arab Emirates is committed to using nuclear energy to materialize our national developmental needs. The UAE Vision 2021 is our roadmap towards the future and it is a strong enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals such as ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Our efforts to diversify energy have been continuous. Earlier this year we launched the National Energy Strategy 2050 through which we aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 70%, and increase clean energy use by 50%, all by 2050.
Nuclear energy forms an essential part of the de-carbonization of the UAE energy mix. This plan comes at a crucial time as the UAE is in the final stages of construction of its first nuclear energy plant with the commissioning process well underway. The construction of my country’s four reactors continues to progress well with overall completion of all four standing at more than 84%. The construction of the Barakah Unit 1 is almost most completed at 96% completion rate. Once all reactors are fully operational, the four units will produce up to 25% of the UAE’s energy needs; – a significant contribution.
Since embarking on the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program almost 10 years ago, our nation has made great strides and achieved significant steps in the development of its nuclear power program and related infrastructure , following IAEA guidance and international best practices . These steps include the establishment of an independent and competent regulator , the federal authority for nuclear regulation (FANR). UAE nuclear industry led by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and its subsidiaries will continue developing a world - class nuclear power plant project and will soon operate and maintain the Barakah with the highest standards.
Mr. President ,.
UAE highly values the international nuclear cooperation framework as a crucial platform for strengthening safety and development of required capabilities. International conventions in the area of nuclear safety provides opportunity for exchange of experience and peer reviews with an objective to ensure and strengthen safety measures in nuclear facilities. Similarly , respecting international obligations in the areas of security and non proliferation are a must for any country developing a peaceful nuclear energy programme.
The UAE applauds the IAEA for its role in the transfer of knowledge and technology supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Member States.. UAE has received valuable support from the IAEA which facilitated the development of the infrastructure and human resources required for a safe, secure and successful nuclear energy programme .IAEA Peer-review missions are critical to ensure the adequacy of safety measures and relevant national infrastructure. With its firm commitment to transparency, the UAE has received 9 reviews from the IAEA covering various areas including safety and regulatory framework, emergency preparedness and operational readiness.
Communication and active public engagement is an essential tool for UAE transparent approach. UAE national stakeholders have been in raising awareness of nuclear power and its benefits , which contributed significantly the positive public perception of nuclear energy in the UAE.
I thank again Director General Yukiya Amano and the IAEA for the tremendous support the Agency has been providing to the UAE and other member states .
My country looks forward to continue working with the IAEA and the international community towards promoting the the responsible use of nuclear energy.
I thank you, Mr. President