Siting study licence issued in UAE

08 March 2010

The first licence to be issued by the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) nuclear regulator will enable the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) to study potential sites for the country's first nuclear power plant.

 

The licence issued by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) allows Enec to study potential sites to assess their suitability for the location of nuclear power plants, the official WAM news agency reported. The licence was approved by FANR's board of management, following FANR's review of the application submitted by Enec in early February 2010.

 

Enec said that it is already evaluating a number of potential sites for nuclear power plants in the UAE. The company said that its site selection investigation began in accordance with existing UAE laws and regulations prior to the official establishment of FANR. A team of UAE and international experts is conducting detailed scientific and safety studies on seismology, geology, environmental impact and other factors related to siting. Enec noted that these studies and others will contribute to the final decision on where to build the reactors. The suitability of the selected site would then be reviewed by FANR as part of its review of a future application to construct the plant.

 

FANR's director general, William Travers, commented, "This marks the formal start of FANR's important role as the independent safety regulator for the UAE's nuclear power program." He added that Enec is expected to submit an application to construct a nuclear power plant later this year.

 

Four South Korean-developed APR1400 reactors are to be built in a $20 billion order awarded in December 2009, with Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco) providing the "full scope of works and services". An array of South Korean firms are to take up roles in supply and technical support, notably Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) which will assist in operating the new reactors. Non-Korean companies involved in the Kepco team include Westinghouse of the USA and its owner, Toshiba of Japan. The first of the 1400 MWe reactors is to come on line in 2017, with the others following by 2020.

 

Kepco will reportedly soon start awarding subcontracts for the UAE project. Jun-Yeon Byeon, Kepco executive director, said that the company would start awarding subcontracts worth $10 billion for engineering and construction in the next two months, according to Reuters. The first deals would be for turbines, construction, steam generation and pipelines, he said.

 

Researched and written

by World Nuclear News

 

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