UAE signs agreements with UK and Canada

27 September 2017

The United Arab Emirates Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has signed international co-operation agreements with UK and Canadian regulators aimed at exchange of knowledge and information. An "Information Exchange Arrangement" signed with the UK Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) seeks to exchange information on matters related to the peaceful use of nuclear energy. It also paves way for exchange of information on legislation, regulations, licences as well as construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear installations, according to a statement from FANR.

An agreement with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) looks to exchange safety and regulatory-related information. It covers regulatory aspects of the safety and security of nuclear plants and radioactive source, safety-related research in connection with licensing and regulatory control of nuclear facilities and other aspects. The agreements were signed on the sideline of the 61st General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held in Vienna.

The UAE is hosting the 2017 International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century which will take place from 30 October to 1 November. It is organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in co-operation with the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency.

UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei told a press conference on 25 September Abu Dhabi was selected to host the conference was a "recognition" of its "successful efforts" and "leading international position" in the development of its peaceful nuclear energy programme.  He said the UAE is confident that nuclear energy is "the best choice to meet the growing demand for energy".

Initial construction of the UAE's first power reactor, unit 1 at the Barakah nuclear power plant, was completed in May, and operating company Nawah Energy Company is now awaiting approval from national regulators for fuel loading. Operations are scheduled to start in 2018. The Barakah project comprises four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurised water reactors.  The plant is being built for the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation by a consortium led by the Korean Electric Power Company. Barakah 1 (more than 96% complete) and Barakah 2 (more than 85% complete) are both expected to start up in 2018 followed by Barakah 3 and 4 in 2019 and 2020.

Photo courtesy FANR

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