IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano commended the United Arab Emirates for the country’s nuclear power development programme during his visit to the Barakah nuclear power plant construction site over the weekend. Barakah will be the country’s first nuclear power plant, and construction of the Barakah-1 reactor is progressing on scheduled towards the start of commercial operations in 2017. Three more units, under construction, are planned to begin operations in following years.
“As a newcomer to nuclear power, the UAE is setting a positive example in timely and comprehensive planning and implementation of their nuclear power programme, and with their strong emphasis on safety,” Mr Amano said.
The IAEA has provided support to the UAE in its efforts to introduce nuclear power. To help ensure that all international safety standards, guidance’s and regulations were met, to strengthen the nuclear safety infrastructure of their nuclear power plant, the UAE has hosted several IAEA peer reviews missions, such as the integrated regulatory review service mission, which assessed the UAE’s nuclear regulatory framework. This service offers an integrated approach to review common aspects of any state’s national, legal and governmental framework and regulatory infrastructure for safety. Further review missions on emergency preparedness, operational safety and the security are scheduled to take place this year and next. The UAE is also an important partner for the IAEA in sharing its experience with other countries who are considering launching nuclear power programmes.
During his two-day visit to the UAE, Mr Amano met with Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and thanked him for hosting the IAEA’s International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, scheduled for October 2017.