The UAE has approved the construction of two additional nuclear power reactors at the Barakah site in the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi emirate by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec). The licence for the construction of Unit Three and Four of the Barakah nuclear facility and related regulated activities was approved by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) board of management at its meeting on Monday (September 15), said Wam, the Emirates news agency. The licence authorises Enec to construct two additional Korean-designed, advanced pressurised water reactors of the type known as the APR1400, each capable of producing 1,400 MW of electricity. FANR granted a construction licence for units One and Two at the Barakah site in July 2012.
The licence permits Enec to construct the reactors but Enec must apply for a separate operating licence before it can begin to operate them. The corporation is expected to submit an application in 2015 for a licence to operate Unit 1 and 2. "The latest licence approval illustrates the significant progress the UAE has achieved in its nuclear energy programme," said Dr Ahmed Al Mazrouei, chairman of FANR. The granting of the Unit Three and Four 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 report said. "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 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."
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