Application in for UAE nuclear build

27 December 2010

Papers were filed today for the construction of Braka 1 and 2, the first nuclear power reactors to be built in the United Arab Emirates. 


The preliminary safety report from the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) was put to the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) one year after Enec selected a Korean consortium's APR-1400 reactor for the site.


Four APR-1400s are to be constructed at Braka, 52 kilometres from Ruwais, coming online between 2017 and 2020. Further reactors could be purchased beyond this $20 billion deal as electricity demand grows from 16 GWe at the time of the order to an expected 40 GWe by 2020.


Al Hammadi and Travers, December 2010
FANR's William Travers accepts the 16-volume application from
Mohamed Al Hammadi of Enec (Image: Enec)


The reference plant for the Braka units will be Shin Kori 3 and 4, nearing completion in the south east of South Korea. Enec said its reactors will be "essentially the same" as those units "but supplemented with changes required to adapt to the UAE climatic conditions and any specific requirements for FANR." These differences relate to a 50 Hertz output instead of 60 Hertz as well as higher temperatures and the possibility of sand storms.


"Among other benefits," noted ENEC, "this will ensure that the technology used for the UAE plant will have already passed a licensing process before undergoing the FANR licensing process."


Safety moves 


The submission comes just days after FANR announced that it had signed contracts with two organisations for technical support in reviewing the Braka application.


Lightbridge was involved as a consultant in the early stages of the UAE's program and helped the country to set up the various actors in the roles they take today, and already in place for technical support to FANR is a consortium known as Riskaudit-IRSN/GRS. They will now be joined by the BNES-ISL consortium made up of Baynuna Nuclear Energy Services and Information Systems Laboratories as well as NT, made up of Numark Associates, Amec NSS, TÜV NORD and the VTT Technical Research Centre).


Enec already has FANR licenses for non-safety-related preparations at Braka, such as the construction of a jetty, and a limited license for the manufacture of major components taking place already in South Korea.

Today's submission will begin FANR's main review process and, should the regulator be satisfied, result in a construction licence. Separately a submission is being made to the Environment Agency of the UAE regarding all four Braka units. Approval from both these bodies is required before nuclear construction may begin.

Enec also announced today the first sittings of its Nuclear Safety Review Board, put in place to check the "safety and effectiveness" of the startup program. It is chaired by former chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission Dale Klein.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News