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UAE Picks Braka Site in Abu Dhabi for Nuclear Plants

The United Arab Emirates will base four nuclear plants at Braka on the coast of western Abu Dhabi, an Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. spokesman said.

The company has requested a license by July 5 to use the 13 square-kilometer site, 53 kilometers (33 miles )from the nearest city of Ruwais and near the Saudi Arabian border, for plants with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts apiece, Fahad al-Qahtani told reporters in Abu Dhabi today.

“The selection of our preferred site is the result of an evaluation process that meets or exceeds international standards,” Emirates Nuclear said in a statement citing Chief Executive Officer Mohamed al-Hammadi. Criteria include seismic history, distance from population centers and water supplies, and proximity to the electrical power grid, according to the statement.

The U.A.E. awarded a $18.6 billion contract in December to Korea Electric Power Corp. to build four nuclear plants by 2020. The Persian Gulf nation is turning to atomic power to meet growing energy demand as industrialization depletes natural-gas supplies. The U.A.E. appointed former United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix as head of an advisory board to help the country develop nuclear energy.

Korean Electric, which said it will give $10 billion of subcontracts to Korean companies, awarded $6.59 billion in orders to Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and Samsung C&T Corp. last month. South Korea aims to secure $400 billion in nuclear contracts by 2030 as demand for nuclear power increases, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said in January.

Construction license applications for the first two plants will be submitted to the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation later this year, with the first concrete to be poured in 2012, the statement said.

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