Abu Dhabi, Sept. 20 (BNA): The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded a mission to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that focused on operational safety developments at the Unit 1 Barakah Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in the UAE's western region.
The five-day mission, performed by the IAEA's Operational Safety Review Team (OSART), follows-up on a previous visit in 2017, seeking to observe progress that has been achieved at the power plant since then.
Set up in 2009, FANR is the regulatory body for the nuclear sector in the United Arab Emirates. It regulates all nuclear activities and licenses the use of radioactive sources in the UAE.
The international expert team, comprising experts from Finland, Hungary and the United Kingdom, and two IAEA officials, noted significant improvements in the facility's infrastructure, including areas such as the effectiveness of its management in-field programme, its operating experience programme, and the establishment of a comprehensive accident management programme.
The plant has also demonstrated the capability of the mobile equipment under simulated severe accident conditions.
"The UAE is proud to showcase its arrangements for ensuring the safety of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. Our cooperation with the IAEA and their continued support has been invaluable in the construction and operation of the first nuclear power plant in the region," said Christer Viktorsson, Director General of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).
The mission also assessed arrangements in the areas of leadership and management, training and qualification of staff, radiation protection, and emergency preparedness, in addition to other aspects relating to the safety of the facility.
Since the previous mission, three of the four units at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant have received their operating licenses, following a rigorous review of application documents spanning 28,000 pages.
FANR performed the review as part of its mandate to protect the public and environment from radiation hazards. Each license authorizes ENEC to operate a unit for a period of 60 years.
The IAEA OSART missions are conducted with the goal of assessing and making recommendations to the safety arrangements infrastructure of countries pursuing peaceful nuclear energy programmes.