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Green light for two nuclear reactors at Barakah

FANR approves units three and four in western Abu Dhabi.

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Barakah, ENEC, FANR, News

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has been given the go-ahead to build two additional nuclear power reactors at Barakah in western Abu Dhabi.

Construction of units three and four at the site was approved at a meeting on 15 September, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the UAE said in a statement.

The licence authorises ENEC to build two Korean-designed, advanced pressurised water reactors of type APR1400, each capable of producing 1,400 megawatts of electricity.

FANR granted a construction licence for the first two reactors in July 2012.

ENEC must apply for a separate licence before it can begin to operate them and is expected to submit an application in 2015.

The latest development follows 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.

The review also 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 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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