Gulf states nuclear project to take up to 15 years


“From the moment the decision was taken, it could take between 12 and 15 years to complete the establishment of the nuclear plant,” Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah said in comments published in Al Qabas daily.

“There are many requirements and legal, legislative and security measures, in addition to 15 international agreements that we must comply with,” the minister said.

During their annual meeting in Riyadh last December, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) heads of state announced their determination to develop a joint nuclear technology programme for peaceful use under international rules.

Their interest in developing atomic energy comes amid a continuing standoff between the West and the GCC’s neighbour Iran over its programme of uranium enrichment.

The United States has charged that Teheran is using its nuclear programme to secretly develop an atomic bomb, a claim denied by Iran which maintains its nuclear activities are peaceful.

Sheikh Mohammed said that GCC leaders will study a paper on the nuclear project during their annual consultative meeting next week in Riyadh.

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, said last month that the oil-rich GCC has the right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

The six GCC countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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