The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had completed an eight-day inspection mission carried out on behalf of the United Arab Emirates government that focused on infrastructure development that would support its nuclear power ambitions.
The UAE is currently building its first nuclear power plant at the Barakah site in Abu Dhabi, which is contracted to the Korea Electric Power Company. The mission was the first such review by the international agency in the final phase of the IAEA's Milestone's Approach. Prior to the INIR mission, the UAE prepared a Self-Evaluation Report covering all infrastructure issues and submitted the report and supporting documents to the IAEA, which advises countries on international safety and security standards concerning radioactive materials.
The project at Bakarah involves construct of four 1400 MW pressurized water reactors.
The IAEA team was comprised of nuclear power experts from Slovakia, South Africa and the United Kingdom, plus five IAEA staff members. It reviewed the status of 19 nuclear infrastructure issues under the expectations set out by the "Evaluation of the Status of National Nuclear Infrastructure Development at Milestone 3."
The team found several good practices that would benefit other countries. It also made recommendations to the UAE, including the need for the operating organization to finalize all necessary arrangements required to reach operational readiness. The team recommended UAE approve and implement "all the appropriate arrangements for radioactive waste management and the implementation of arrangements required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the nuclear power program, the agency said.
“This INIR phase 3 mission is the first of its kind, marking an important milestone for both the UAE and the IAEA,” said team leader Milko Kovachev, Head of the IAEA’s Nuclear Infrastructure Development Section. “We met with highly motivated and competent professionals from the UAE and the mission was conducted in a cooperative and open atmosphere. The UAE is well-focused in its preparations for the operation of the first unit of the nuclear power plant, although some work remains to be done.”
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