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UAE 'strong' on nuclear security, says IAEA

The Vienna-based agency has carried out a two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission at the UAE government's request

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The United Arab Emirates has undertaken "strong and sustainable" nuclear security activities, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts has concluded.

The Vienna-based agency carried out a two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission at the UAE government's request.
"The UAE's hosting of this IPPAS mission as it embarks on a nuclear power program is a welcome demonstration of its commitment to nuclear security," Juan Carlos Lentijo, IAEA deputy director-general and head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, said in an IAEA statement yesterday. "In hosting this mission, the UAE demonstrated leadership, and we hope that other states, particularly those embarking on nuclear power production, also will request such missions," he added.

The IPPAS team reviewed the UAE's legislative and regulatory framework for nuclear security, looked at the physical protection of nuclear material and nuclear facilities, and the security of radioactive material, associated facilities and associated activities.

Also discussed was the UAE implementation of the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, which entered into force last May and provides a strengthened framework for protecting nuclear material and nuclear facilities. The UAE ratified the Amendment in 2009.

"The team concluded that the UAE has undertaken strong and sustainable nuclear security activities [and] identified a number of good practices in the national nuclear security regime and at the visited facilities, while also making recommendations and suggestions for continuous improvement," the IAEA said.

The team, led by Patrick Adams, a senior security advisor of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, also included eight experts from seven states and the IAEA. The team met in Abu Dhabi with officials from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation.

The UAE was the 47th country to host an IPPAS mission.

Four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurized water reactors are under construction at Barakah, in Abu Dhabi, which are expected to start up in 2017.

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