The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the United Arab Emirates has authorised the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) to start building two additional nuclear power reactors at the Barakah site in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
The construction licence for Barakah units 3&4, which was granted on 15 September, authorises ENEC to construct two additional 1400 MW Korean-designed APR1400 pressurised water reactors.
The granting of the construction licence followed an intensive 18-month review by about 200 FANR and other technical experts, the regulator said.
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. The review also incorporated lessons learnt from the March 2011 accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in Japan.
Throughout its review, FANR said that it benefited from its close collaboration with both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and nuclear regulatory officials in the Republic of Korea.
"The latest licence approval illustrates the significant progress the United Arab Emirates has achieved in its nuclear energy programme," commented H.E. Dr Ahmed Al Mazrouei, chairman of the FANR Board of Management.
UAE is currently building two APR1400 reactors Barakah 1&2, which are expected to begin operation in 2017 and 2018. Speaking at the World Nuclear Association annual symposium last week Mohamad Al Hammadi, chief executive of ENEC said that unit 1 was 55% complete.
In 2015, ENEC is expected to submit an application for a licence to operate Barakah Units 1 and 2. An operating licence will also be needed before Units 3&4 can enter operations.
Photo: Construction of Barakah 1 began in July 2012 and is now around 55% complete. (Credit: ENEC)