S. Korea, UAE discuss cooperation on nuke power, new energy

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TOKYO, May 31 (KUNA) — South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday discussed ways of expanding bilateral cooperation on nuclear power generation, hydrogen and other energy fields, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing Seoul’s industry ministry. Second Vice Industry Minister Park Il-jun and Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. (ENEC), held talks on the matter in Seoul, the report said. During the meeting, Park congratulated the Middle Eastern country for its recent launch of the second unit of the South Korean-built Barakah nuclear power plant and vowed active support for the ongoing project to build two additional units. In March, the No. 2 Barakah reactor in Barakah, 270 km west of Abu Dhabi, began commercial operations about a year after the operation of the first unit. They are part of four nuclear reactors built in Barakah under a USD 20 billion contract won by a consortium led by South Korea’s state-run utility firm Korea Electric Power Corp. in 2009. Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages of commissioning, with the construction of Unit 3 being completed last year and the fourth one in the final stages of construction. When the four units are in commercial operation, the Barakah plant will produce up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs and will prevent about 22.4 million tons of carbon emissions annually, according to the ENEC. “The two sides also exchanged opinions on how to work more closely on various energy sectors, such as hydrogen, based on their achievement through the Barakah project,” the ministry said in a release. (end) mk.lb