Civilian Nuclear Energy Cooperation
In December 2009, the United Arab Emirates and the United States entered into a bilateral agreement for peaceful nuclear energy cooperation that enhances international standards of nonproliferation, safety and security. Known as a “123 Agreement,” the pact establishes a required legal framework for commerce in civilian nuclear energy between the two countries. The bilateral agreement has been called the “gold standard” by government leaders and nonproliferation experts for its commitment to safety, security and operational transparency.
The US is actively supporting the development of the UAE’s civilian nuclear energy program. The UAE’s first nuclear power station will begin generating electricity in 2018, and a number of US firms are involved in the process of building the physical infrastructure and training engineers and operators. In December 2017, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and UAE Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Al Mazrouei signed a Memorandum of Understanding that reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to strategic cooperation on energy, including in the field of peaceful civilian nuclear energy.
The UAE’s nuclear energy program is generating valuable, long-term contracts for services, construction, equipment and training. Several US companies are involved in the UAE’s nuclear energy program, including Westinghouse, which is involved in building components for nuclear reactors.