Saudi readies nuclear energy agreement with France
The United Arab Emirates was the first Gulf Arab country to take the nuclear route to meet rising electricity demand.
In December, it awarded a deal worth up to $40 billion, one of the largest ever awarded in the Middle East, to a South Korean consortium to build and operate four nuclear reactors on its soil. [ID:nLDE5BQ021]
The UAE, the world's third-biggest oil exporter, has plans to build its first nuclear reactor by 2017. It will also host the International Renewable Energy Agency's (IRENA) newly-created headquarters.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) -- an alliance of six Arab states including Saudi Arabia -- said in 2007 it was studying a joint nuclear energy programme and had been in touch with the U.N. atomic energy watchdog about cooperating over such a scheme. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Anthony Barker)
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