United Arab Emirates, August 04, 2020: Greenpeace MENA condemns the start-up of unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi, as a wasteful investment in the wrong technology that will only deplete the scarce water resources of the “Emirates”. Julien Jreissati, programme manager at Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa, commented: 'Nuclear energy is not the energy of the future, and definitely not the solution. With it we are leaving our future generations with nothing but a toxic legacy of radioactive and dangerous nuclear waste'.
He continued: ”The UAE has been a regional leader in developing and investing in cheap, safe and green renewable energy such as solar. This innovative country should keep its focus on capitalising on its abundant and generous sun instead of 'betting' on the nuclear race. After the legacy of Fukushima and the high price Japan had to pay for relying on nuclear power, countries around the world (like Germany) are opting for phasing-out nuclear energy not the other way around.”
Building new nuclear plants is more expensive and takes longer than building renewable energy plants. Building a nuclear plant in a water scarce country is just a bad and dangerous investment that will compete with the UAE people on accessing much needed water resources. In a region that has been prone to conflicts, the reactor also poses considerable safety risk to the people.