Nuclear authority board approves 2018 operational plan

Board approves project to ensure building national capacity in the nuclear sector

Abu Dhabi: The board of management of the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has approved the 2018 operational plan, which focuses on ensuring safe, secure and peaceful nuclear and radiation programmes in the UAE.

The first board meeting in 2018 presided by Abdullah Nasser Al Suwaidi, chairman of FANR’s board of management, reviewed the overall progress, according a press release issued by the authority on Thursday.

The plan revolves around carrying out its mission by conducting high-quality regulatory programmes on nuclear safety, nuclear security as well as radiation protection and nuclear non-proliferation.

The board also reviewed a detailed report on the authority’s performance in 2017.

At the same time, the board learnt about the latest updates on the status of the operating licence application for Units 1 and 2 at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in Al Dhafra as well as inspection activities to ensure implementation of the authority’s safety, security and safeguards requirements.

In 2017, the authority conducted over 40 inspections related to Barakah. Such inspections included verification of the licensee’s operator training and certification programme and organisational readiness for Unit 1 operations, cybersecurity, nuclear fuel storage as well as other requirements. The Barakah project is a key priority for FANR’s board of management to ensure that it meets all regulatory requirements.

Ensuring the sustainability of the UAE nuclear programme is a priority for the authority for which it develops programmes to build national capacity. The board approved the authority’s participation in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-Halden Reactor Project. The project will help build national capacity through employee secondment and collaboration in research development, which will contribute to regulatory decision-making and enhancing operations.

The board of management’s meeting is the first after being formed according to the resolution recently issued by the UAE Cabinet. Having a tenure of three years, the board of management is FANR’s decision-making body. It is responsible for setting strategic directions of the authority as the independent federal nuclear regulator in the UAE and approves its strategies according to the Federal Government priorities.

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