Barakah power plant advised to address 'radioactive waste' by IAEA
Nuclear safety and human resources development opeartions praised by IAEA
Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have passed a list of recommendations to the UAE's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, following an eight-day inspection of its four reactors.
IAEA inspectors from South Africa, the UK and Slovakia, among others, completed an infrastructure development review at the Barakah project this week, and concluded that “some work remains to be done”.
Inspectors highlighted several areas project managers should look at, including: finalising arrangements required to reach operational readiness; approving and implementing appropriate measures to manage radioactive waste; and implementing arrangements required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the nuclear power programme.
While the team made a string of recommendations, it did identify some areas of good practice that other countries developing nuclear energy programmes could copy.
Nuclear safety and human resources development were among the areas that the IAEA praised.
“This integrated nuclear infrastructure review (INIR) Phase 3 mission is the first of its kind, marking an important milestone for both the UAE and the IAEA,” said the inspection team's leader, Milko Kovachev.
“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.”
The IAEA is a Vienna-based organisation promoting the peaceful use of nuclear energy and it was invited to the Barakah plant by the UAE government.
HE Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE’s permanent representative at the IAEA, said the country was progressing “rapidly” with its peaceful nuclear programme.
“The successful conclusion of the Phase 3 INIR mission is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to upholding the highest international standards of safety, security, and transparency as we approach the commissioning of the nation’s first nuclear energy plant,” he said.
Located 53km west of the city of Ruwais in Abu Dhabi, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is being developed by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) will produce 5,600MW of energy once fully operational in 2020.
The site consists of 1400MW pressurised water reactors and could meet up to one quarter of the UAE's entire electricity needs.
The prime contract was awarded to Korea Electric Power Company and is valued at approximately $20bn (AED73.5bn).