The UAE has presented the status of its plans for managing spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste to participants at a meeting at the International Atomic Energy Agency Headquarters, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria.
The UAE delegation gave the presentation as a contracting party to the joint convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. This was the second time that the UAE has participated in the joint convention review meetings which are held every three years at IAEA Headquarters.
The UAE’s presentation outlined the regulatory framework so far established to protect UAE residents and the environment from radiological and other hazards potentially posed by spent nuclear power plant fuel and radioactive waste. The presentation also described the UAE’s plans for managing radioactive waste and spent fuel prior to its disposal.
The UAE delegation was led by Hamad Alkaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA, and supported by senior experts from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR. Mr. Alkaabi said, “The UAE is committed to meeting the highest safety standards in its nuclear power programme, so it is essential that the nation takes full advantage of critical international collaborative efforts such as the joint convention.”
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC, is currently constructing a nuclear power plant with four reactors at Barakah in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The first of these reactors is scheduled to enter into commercial operation in 2017, subject to FANR’s regulatory approval.
FANR has developed requirements addressing spent fuel management at nuclear power plants, and it is preparing regulations to oversee long-term spent fuel management. FANR is reviewing licence applications to manage radioactive waste from other radiological activities in the UAE.