Gulf & Middle East
'12 years more, Gulf will have nuclear energy'
May 8, 2007 - 4:47:13 PM

Abu Dhabi, May 8 - It will take Gulf nations 12-15 years to start developing civilian nuclear energy, the foreign minister of Kuwait said Tuesday.

'From the time of making the decision, you need 12-15 years to complete a nuclear facility,' Sheikh Mohammad Al-Sabah said, citing legal, legislative, and security requirements and more than 15 international treaties.

Kuwait has drafted a roadmap plan to implement the programme, which will be presented to a GCC consultative summit in Riyadh in mid-May. The GCC includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

Last December at an annual meeting in Riyadh, leaders of six oil-rich nations, party to the GCC, announced their plans to develop a joint civilian nuclear programme in compliance with international rules.

The head of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, had said in mid-April that the GCC countries had 'the natural right' to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes like the 150 nations already using atomic power.

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