UAE to build two more nuclear power plants at Barakah site

Each of the two APR1400 reactors can produce 1,400MW of electricity

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The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has authorised the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) to begin building two additional nuclear power reactors at the Barakah site in the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate.

The ‘Licence for the Construction of Units Three and Four of the Barakah Nuclear Facility and Related Regulated Activities’ was approved by the FANR Board of Management at its meeting on September 15 . The licence authorises ENEC to construct two more advanced pressurised water reactors APR1400, each capable of producing 1,400MW of electricity.

However, ENEC will need to apply for a separate operating licence before it can begin to operate them. ENEC is expected to submit an application in 2015 for a licence to operate Units 1 and 2.

FANR granted a construction licence for Units One and Two at the Barakah site in July 2012. the first time such a licence was provided to a ‘newcomer’ country in 31 years after China did so in 1981.

“The latest licence approval illustrates the significant progress the United Arab Emirates has achieved in its nuclear energy programme,” said H.E. Dr Ahmed Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the FANR Board of Management.

The granting of the Units 3 and 4 construction licence followed an intensive 18-month review by about 200 FANR and other technical experts. They examined all relevant safety factors including the adequacy of the reactor site, the design of the facility, the safety analysis, management systems and quality assurance for construction, radiation safety measures, physical protection and safeguards. Furthermore, the review incorporated lessons learnt from the March 2011 accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Throughout its review, FANR has benefited from its close collaboration with both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and nuclear regulatory officials in the Republic of Korea.

“The FANR team is dedicated to ensuring that nuclear energy in the UAE is pursued safely, securely and peacefully,” said FANR’s Director General Dr William D. Travers. “In addition to our detailed review of ENEC’s operating licence application, FANR will continue to closely monitor construction at the Barakah site, and will verify that all rules and regulations are followed before it grants any authorisation to ENEC to commence operations.”

In line with its commitment to operational transparency, FANR will also publish on its website a summary of the ‘Safety Evaluation Report of Barakah Units 3 and 4,’ which forms the basis of its decision to issue the construction licence.


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