Svinicki (centre, standing) at one of the work sites

Svinicki (centre, standing) at one of the work sites

Nuclear energy project lauded

Work going on at the UAE nuclear plants is impressive in quality and safety as the country meets the challenges of rising energy demands, says a US official

01 December 2013

THE US has commended the UAE’s nuclear energy project saying it is worthy of emulation by the international community.

Kristine L Svinicki, commissioner of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), was hosted by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) at the Barakah site in the Western region of Abu Dhabi, where the UAE’s first nuclear energy plants are being constructed.

The tour included different locations of the projects such as the Rebar Fabrication Workshop, the Site Concrete Plant, the Marine Work, Units 1 and 2 and the engineering office. Present during her visit were Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi and executives from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the independent government body charged with regulating and licensing nuclear activities in the UAE.

“The UAE indeed has an inspiring story to tell about their nuclear energy project. The work that is being carried out at the site is impressive in both quality and safety which truly makes it a model for other nations to follow,” said Commissioner Svinicki, speaking on the second day of the inaugural New Nuclear International Conference (NNIC) conference which highlighted the challenges of meeting rising energy demands while considering many costs such as time, finance and environmental impact.

Commissioner Svinicki further remarked. “The UAE has overcome these challenges through seeking experience and knowledge from nations with a  long history of civil nuclear experience, and the NNIC is a clear demonstration of this.”

Enec recently announced the achievement of another milestone for Barakah Unit 1, with the completion of the fabrication and installation of the Containment Liner Plate (CLP) in the Reactor Containment Building. Commercial operations for Unit 1 are set to commence in 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.

Barakah Unit 2 is also well under way and will take five years to construct, with the plant scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2018, pending regulatory approval. Enec will apply for an operating licence for Units 1 and 2 in 2015. With four plants operational by 2020, nuclear energy will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs, while saving up to 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Hosted by Enec, the conference was held under the theme of Bringing the Nuclear World Together. The event was a unique opportunity for nuclear energy experts from around the world to share best practice and to stay up to date on the industry’s developments. Delegates learned how the nuclear energy sector has excelled in ensuring that the technology is safe and secure. The sessions showed that the industry’s commitment to safety and quality has raised the bar and is inspiring other industries across the world.

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