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Originally published Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 12:08 AM

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UAE, Australia sign nuclear cooperation pact

The United Arab Emirates and Australia have signed a pact to work together on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, laying the groundwork for potential shipments of uranium to the Gulf nation.

The Associated Press

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates —

The United Arab Emirates and Australia have signed a pact to work together on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, laying the groundwork for potential shipments of uranium to the Gulf nation.

The UAE's state news agency WAM reported early Wednesday that the agreement provides a framework for cooperation and will ease the "commercial exchange of nuclear materials and equipment."

Australia is a major producer of uranium. The agreement stopped short of setting specific terms for imports.

The UAE last month became the first country in more than two and a half decades to begin building its maiden nuclear power plant. It has signed a deal with the United States to not enrich uranium or reprocess spent nuclear fuel for plutonium, which can be used in nuclear bombs.

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