Nuclear power – our remit and work to date
A key part of Abu Dhabi’s future outlook and strategy is the construction of four nuclear plants each with a nominal capacity of 1400MW (5600MW overall), located at Barakah in the Western Region, 240 kilometres west of Abu Dhabi city. The programme is scheduled to deliver the first of these units Q2 2017.
The generation capacity of the new nuclear plant will be required to satisfy the Bureau’s licence conditions prior to operations. Given this facility is the ‘first of a kind’ in the region, work is already underway to develop an appropriate generation licence to provide for the necessary governance around general conditions as well as specific nuances of a nuclear facility, particularly in relation to the generation of electricity and integration with the sector.
The electricity generation licencing fundamentally aims to ensure that the prospective licensee meets the Bureau’s due diligence criteria in meeting the obligations set out under Law No (2) of 1998 by having an appropriate financial position and technical and managerial competence to operate the facility. To that end, the electricity generation licence will cover standard generation conditions and nuclear-power specific conditions and issues for monitoring and reporting.
In performing all our licensing and regulatory duties, we maintain a close relationship with other regulatory bodies, in particular the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and the Environment Agency of Abu Dhabi (EAD), and endeavour to coordinate with their duties and functionsto ensure that the respective regulatory licences are appropriate, consistent and avoid unnecessary overlapping obligations.
The nuclear programme and its integration within the sector is, by its nature, hugely complex and aside from the specific development of the generation licence, the bureau is working closely alongside both the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and all key power and water licensees and stakeholders to understand and help facilitate the necessary and timely transitional steps towards the safe and secure integration of these future arrangements. To this end the Bureau established a sector-wide nuclear roadmap project in late 2011, bringing together all key stakeholders in a number of specific forums, namely technical, commercial and regulatory working groups. The roadmap’s focus is by no means directly managing programme delivery, but was established to assist in providing a focus to key cross-sector activities necessary to help support the successful nuclear power plant project connection and integration.
In addition to the primary regulatory activities and work of the nuclear roadmap project, we maintain close interest in the relevant international works and developments to include International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards and safeguards, lessons learned and best practice from South Korea and other active nuclear programmes in the world.