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Lee sees start of building of UAE reactor

President Lee Myung-bak said on Monday that Korea will make the utmost efforts to ease concerns over the safety of the nuclear power plants that it builds in the United Arab Emirates.

“I am confident that cooperation between the two nations in the construction of nuclear reactors will further solidify bilateral relations,” Lee said at a groundbreaking ceremony for initial works at the proposed nuclear power plant site in Braka, some 300 kilometers west of Abu Dhabi, according to his office Cheong Wa Dae.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, also joined the event.

South Korea and the UAE signed a $20 billion contract for the project in December 2009.
President Lee Myung-bak shakes hands with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, at a groundbreaking ceremony for initial works at the proposed nuclear power plant site in Braka on Monday. (Yonhap News)
President Lee Myung-bak shakes hands with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, at a groundbreaking ceremony for initial works at the proposed nuclear power plant site in Braka on Monday. (Yonhap News)

Given the safety and effectiveness of South Korea’s nuclear technology, the Korea-type nuclear reactors will become a good model in the Middle East, Lee was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae as fears of radiation swept quake-stricken Japan following a second explosion at a nuclear plant in Fukushima.

After observing the site, Lee headed for Dubai, where he met with some 150 South Korean residents there. About 6,200 South Koreans reside in the UAE.

Lee was then scheduled to meet with UAE Prime Minister and emir of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum later in the day to exchange views on economic and trade cooperation.

Lee was also to attend the Zayed International Prize for the Environment award ceremony to give a speech on global green growth, for which he received the prize.

The president was to hold a dinner meeting with reporters later Monday before heading back home. Lee will arrive in Seoul Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Cheong Wa Dae said it began investigating the mechanical problem that made the presidential jet to turn back less than half an hour after takeoff and make an unprecedented emergency landing at Incheon International Airport Saturday morning.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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