South Korea signs $880 million nuclear reactor staffing deal in UAE

The reactors, still under construction, are Korean-designed and made.
By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |   July 25, 2016 at 10:46 AM

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, July 25 (UPI) -- South Korea will manage four nuclear reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates, a deal worth an estimated $880 million, officials said Monday.

Cho Seok, CEO of state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, signed an operation support services agreement in a ceremony Monday to run the four Korean-made reactors at Barakah, UAE.

"Globally, it's rare that a country has foreigners in charge of operating its nuclear reactors ...This may practically be the first time that Korea clinched a business deal of dispatching such large human resources. This will serve as a new chapter in terms of the ties with the Middle East, which have evolved mainly based on the construction businesses since the 1970s," Cho said, referring to the about 210 workers who will work annually until 2030 in the UAE. The contract marks the first time South Korea will send personnel overseas to manage nuclear reactors.

Construction of the four reactors began in 2009, with the finish of the first scheduled for May 2017. All four are expected to be completed by 2020.

At a signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Mohamed al-Hammadi, CEO of the UAE's Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp., said, "Over the next decade and beyond, the agreement will continue to build on and enhance the existing long-term nuclear energy partnership between the UAE and South Korea."

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