UAE has its first nuclear site

23 April 2010

Braka has been named as the site for the UAE's first nuclear power plant. Limited construction licence applications and environmental assessments for four reactors have been submitted.


The Braka site is in a very sparsely populated area 53 kilometres from Ruwais and very close to the border with Saudi Arabia. It is closer to Doha, the capital of Qatar, than to Abu Dhabi about 240 kilometres to the east. Dubai is another 150 kilometres along the coast.


The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said Braka was selected from ten shortlisted sites, all of which were suitable for nuclear build, on the basis of its environmental, technical and business qualities.


Two requests have been made to the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). One is for a site preparation licence for the four-reactor power plant to allow Enec to conduct non-safety related groundwork at Braka such as constructing breakwaters and a jetty. The other is for a limited licence to "manufacture and assemble nuclear safety related equipment."


In addition, a strategic environmental assessment for the project has been submitted to the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) addressing environmental impacts and mitigation including for construction work.


Manufacturing to start soon


As part of the South Korean consortium that will build the power plant, it falls to Doosan Heavy Industries to supply the major components for all four reactors. The limited licence that Enec has applied for will enable Doosan to make the reactor pressure vessel, steam generators, pressurizers and coolant pumps. Enec said it "would anticipate starting some of the manufacturing later this year" for these long-lead items.


The schedule for Braka 1 sees the official start of construction - first concrete - coming in late 2012. To achieve this, Enec has asked FANR to approve the limited license by 5 July. Later this year should come applications for the full construction licence and nuclear environmental impact assessment. 


Braka 1 is slated to operate in 2017, with its three sister plants following at one-year intervals.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News