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UAE nuclear reactor project 'to start in December'

A Korean-led consortium plans to launch a US$20 billion project in December to build four nuclear reactors in the UAE, the state-run power supplier said recently. Last December, the consortium led by state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) won the landmark deal, the first international contract for the Asian nations nuclear industry.

According to the Korea Times, the first of the 1,400 MW reactors in Braka, some 270 km west of the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, is to come on line in 2017. The others are set to follow by 2020, according to the official.

"Both sides have agreed on holding a groundbreaking ceremony within this year," said an official at KEPCO. "We will be able to complete construction of the first reactor by 2017 if there are no major problems."

KEPCO will take on the full scope of works and services, including engineering, procurement, construction, nuclear fuel, and operations and maintenance support. It will be assisted by its own subsidiaries and the other consortium members: Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Samsung C&T Corp, Doosan Heavy and Engineering Co, Korea Nuclear Fuel, the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co, US firm Westinghouse Electric Co, and Japan's Toshiba Corp.