Kuwait, Russia sign nuke deal

2010-09-21 13:20
Kuwait City – Kuwait and Russia have signed a memorandum of co-operation for peaceful use of nuclear energy generation in the Gulf Arab state, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA reported, following similar deals with Japan and France.

"The memo... stipulated training cadres, exploration for metals, establishing a network of nuclear reactors in Kuwait and building a relevant infrastructure," KUNA reported late on Monday, citing Ahmad Bishara, the secretary general of Kuwait's National Nuclear Energy Committee.

It said the arrangements were for a five-year period.

Gulf Arab states including Kuwait fear that Iran's nuclear energy programme could lead to the country becoming a nuclear weapons state and dominant power in the region.

Kuwait has also sought assurances from Iran about the safety of its Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power reactor which began operation this year.

World’s fourth largest exporter

Earlier this month, Kuwait, the world's fourth-largest oil exporter, said it had decided to build four nuclear reactors by 2022, each with a capacity of 1 000 megawatts.

The announcement came days after Kuwait and Japan signed a co-operation agreement to expand the nuclear capacity in the OPEC member. Kuwait also signed a nuclear co-operation agreement with France in April.

So far there is no indication of who might build the plants.

Kuwait is looking to boost oil output capacity to 4 million barrels a day by 2020 and gas output to 4 billion cubic feet per day by 2030.

It has relied on oil exports for more than 90% of state revenues. Current oil production capacity is 3.1 million barrels a day.

Read more on:    russia  |  kuwait  |  nuclear
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