Abu Dhabi: An estimated 60 per cent of jobs available in nuclear energy power plants will be held by Emiratis, Gulf News has learnt.

So far, 40 Emirati students have been offered scholarships to study nuclear energy through a $20.4 billion nuclear power contract signed between the UAE and South Korea to establish partnerships in research, education and vocational training in nuclear energy.

There are four power plants that are due to be built in the capital, one of which will be built by 2017.

"All four power plants will be ready by 2020, The exact location of the plants remains unknown. The project is vital to the UAE, which is why we are prioritising the development and training of Emirati talent to ensure they lead the UAE civil nuclear energy programme," said Fahd Al Qahtani, Media Relations Manager at the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC).

Of the 40 students, seven will complete their nuclear energy bachelors degrees at Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR).

Five students, who are originally engineers, will complete their masters degrees in nuclear energy. The rest will complete their bachelor degrees in France, the US and UK.


During a meeting yesterday, Khalifa University (KU), the Institute of Applied Technology (IAT), and the ENEC announced a multilateral nuclear education agreement with South Korea.

The agreement includes a student exchange programme to the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and lecturers from KAIST coming to the UAE and forming a research development alliance.

The agreement also seeks to establish new labs and offer practical training to students in the fields of nuclear engineering, information technology, telecommunications, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, nanotechnology, robotics and energy.

The agreement will also provide exchange in nuclear safety expertise with the Korean Institute for Nuclear Safety.

"Our partnership with the Korean institutions will result in a surge of new programmes to offer our students, as well as strengthen our capability to drive innovative academic, research and foster educational excellence in the field of engineering across the region," said Dr. Aref Sultan Al Hammadi, interim president of KUSTAR.