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Nuclear regulation body praised by experts

FANR lauded for use of peer reviews and high safety standards

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FANR has been lauded for use of peer reviews and high safety standards. (Getty Images)
FANR has been lauded for use of peer reviews and high safety standards. (Getty Images)

An international team of nuclear safety experts praised the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) for its effective use of international peer reviews and safety standards in its work.
The Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team, assembled by the IAEA upon invitation by the UAE, presented its initial findings in Abu Dhabi today. The 10-day mission has found a number of good practices in the regulatory system, but also made recommendations and suggestions for further improvement.

“The team was impressed by the speed with which the UAE developed its regulatory framework and established a new regulatory body,” said IRRS Team Leader Carl-Magnus Larsson of Australia.

Among the good practices the IRRS mission identified were:

• The UAE and FANR have ambitiously used international peer review missions effectively and FANR has also made use of international standards and recommendations, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Standards, in establishing its regulations and guidance.

• Emirati scholarship awardees can choose between the regulator and the nuclear power plant operator as they start their career. The team found this to be a balanced approach to human capacity development.

• The team said FANR made good progress in establishing an integrated management system to run the Authority efficiently.

“We have been working hard to establish FANR as a world-class nuclear safety regulator,” said Dr William D. Travers, FANR Director General. “Inviting the IAEA’s peer review service is one important way to progress. We are pleased our efforts have been recognised and we will use their insights to improve our regulatory programme.”

Among the recommendations to improve the UAE regulatory system, were:

• The UAE Government should clarify roles and responsibilities of emergency response organisations as soon as possible.

• The UAE should conclude and implement a national policy and strategy for radioactive waste management.

The comprehensive IAEA review is not an inspection or an audit, and is based on a detailed self-assessment that FANR has prepared over several months. The mission included visits to the proposed Braka Nuclear Power Plant site in the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate and to medical and industrial facilities, as well as meetings with other key entities involved in the nuclear programme.
 

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