IAEA reviews the UAE’s nuclear development

BarakahThe Barakah nuclear energy plant. (Image source: ENEC)The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team visited the UAE to assess 19 infrastructure issues outlined in the agency’s milestones approach

The team focused on the conditions required to achieve nuclear energy Milestone 3 mentioned in Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission report, which takes into account all facets of the nation’s nuclear energy programme.

During the preparation of the report, the team met with UAE stakeholders including the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) and the Critical Infrastructure & Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA).

Hamad Alkaabi, UAE’s permanent representative at IAEA, said, “The UAE is rapidly moving forward with the development of its peaceful nuclear energy sector. The successful conclusion of Phase 3 INIR mission is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to upholding the highest international standards of safety, security, and transparency as we approach the commissioning of the nation’s first nuclear energy plant.”

In addition, the IAEA issued a total of ten recommendations and seven suggestions, as well as identifying three key observations. These included the need for ENEC and Nawah to reach operational readiness before the fuel load of the first unit, and for the UAE to work towards its 2016 policy on the long-term management and disposal of spent nuclear and radioactive waste.

This review mission comes before the issuance of the operating license which will be done by the FANR, once it determines that the commissioning of the first reactor at the Barakah nuclear energy plant can commence.

Kovachev added, “The UAE has made steady progress since the mission in 2011, which has been emphasised by the fact that the IAEA team has identified seven high-quality practices in relation to the 19 elements analysed.”

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