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Nuclear power and energy UAE

Saturday 15 December 2018 (UAE)   

Nuclear power and energy in UAE

Nuclear power stations are planned for the UAE, and scheduled to go online for UAE energy needs and electricity supply beginning in 2017 when the first of four nuclear power plants is expected to be completed in Abu Dhabi.

  • Energy demand in the UAE was forecast to grow about 9% per annum from 2007 to 2020, with an estimated 41,000 megawatts per year required in 2020. In 2007, demand was about 13,000 MW.
  • Currently available energy sources (oil, gas, coal) were projected to be insufficient, too costly, and/or environmentally harmful to supply future needs.
  • Alternative and renewable energy sources were investigated but found to be insufficient for project power needs in the UAE.
  • Nuclear power was accepted as the best option overall.
  • Three UAE government organisations have been established as part of the UAE Civil Nuclear Program
    • Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) - Abu Dhabi nuclear energy company to develop the nuclear program in the UAE.
    • Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) - UAE nuclear regulator and authority, in Abu Dhabi.
    • International Advisory Board (IAB) provides independent assessment of status and performance of the UAE nuclear program, including any areas of concern, reporting to the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)
  • FANR is the UAE nuclear energy regulatory authority, based in Abu Dhabi, established by HH Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, in October 2009, announced in press release 04 October 2009.
  • Director General from Oct 2009 is Dr William D Travers, previously a technical advisor at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Executive Director for Operations of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).
  • Chairman of the FANR board is Dr Ahmed al Mazroui, from Oct 2009. Other members of the management board are:
    • Abdulla Nasser Al Suwaidi - Deputy Chairman
    • Ali Shaer Sultan Al Dhaheri
    • Saif Mohamed Al Zaabi
    • Majid Ali Al Mansouri
    • Ambassador Hamad Ali Al Kaabi
    • Dr Abdulkader Ibrahim Abdulla Al Khayat
    • Dr Ali Mohamed Shaheen
    • A representative of the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water still to be named
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)
  • The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is the Abu Dhabi nuclear energy company tasked with the development of the nuclear energy industry in the UAE.
  • ENEC will be regulated by the FANR.
  • Chairman of ENEC is Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
Abu Dhabi nuclear power plant location
  • The first 4 UAE nuclear power plants will be located in Braka on the coast of the Abu Dhabi emirate, between Abu Dhabi city and the border with Qatar/Saudi Arabia.
  • Nuclear plant location is about 50 km west of Ruwais, a rural seaside (sort of) industrial town in Abu Dhabi, but not a very picturesque one.
KEPCO South Korea-UAE nuclear power plant deal
  • In December 2009, ENEC announced the appointment of a consortium, led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) of South Korea, to design, build, and operate 4 nuclear power plants in the UAE.
  • The South Korea UAE nuclear deal is worth about $40 billion for construction and operation of 4 commercial nuclear reactors. The first to be built by 2017, and the other three by 2020.
  • Total production of the 4 reactors will be 5.6 GW (5,600 MW). Equivalent to about a billion hamsters running around in little wheels.
  • Other companies in the consortium include Doosan Heavy Industries, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, Samsung, Westinghouse (USA).
  • KEPCO subsidiaries and roles in the UAE nuclear project include:
    • Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co. Ltd. (KHNP) - Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor, and nuclear plant operator
    • Korea Power Engineering Co. Inc. (KOPEC) - nuclear power plant design and engineering service
    • Korea Nuclear Fuel Co. Ltd. (KNF) enriched uranium nuclear fuel provider
    • Korea Plant Service and Engineering Co. Ltd. (KPS) - plant maintenance
  • Hyundai Engineering and Construction, and Samsung C&T Corporation were awarded a construction contract in March 2010 by KEPCO for the 4 nuclear reactor plants, worth $5.59 billion.
UAE nuclear program safety
  • One of the bidders that missed out on the deal had a poke at the UAE's decision after the announcement. Bloomberg reported 07 October 2010 that Areva Chief Executive Anne Lauvergeon said in January that her company lost the nuclear bid because Abu Dhabi chose a cheaper solution with reduced safety standards.
  • But Kim Ssang Su, CEO of Korea Electric, said the new reactors are the "world's safest, most reliable and cost-efficient nuclear power plants," and Mohammed Al Hammadi, CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, said one of the reasons the winning consortium was chosen was because of its "world-class safety performance."
Financing of UAE nuclear power plant construction
  • Export-Import Bank of Korea (also called Kexim) expects to lend US$10 billion for constructions of the four nuclear power plants being built in the UAE (Bloomberg 07 October 2010).
  • The money will be lent to Korea Electric Power Corporation and other contractors.
  • Financial advisers include Credit Suisse Group AG.
UAE membership of the IAEA
  • On 23 September 2010, WAM news reported that in a Vienna meeting the UAE was chosen to join the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors as a member.
UAE nuclear energy law

Federal Law No. 6 of 2009 regarding the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy issued by HH Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE, in October 2009 in accordance with IAEA criteria (04 Oct 2009 press release / Emirates News Agency - WAM). UAE nuclear law components include (summary only)

  1. The development, construction or operation of uranium enrichment or spent fuel reprocessing facilities within the borders of the UAE is prohibited.
  2. A UAE federal nuclear safety regulatory agency or authority is to be established, to be completely independent. The agency will regulate, promote, and monitor the "highest standards of nuclear safety, nuclear security and radiological protection"
  3. The development of a secure system for the licensing and control of nuclear material
  4. Unauthorized use, theft, transport, or trade in nuclear materials will be illegal.
  5. Civil and criminal penalties to be imposed for violating the UAE nuclear law.
Uranium in the UAE
US-UAE nuclear agreement
  • 123 Agreement allows US companies to bid for nuclear energy related contracts in the UAE.
UAE nuclear power plant jobs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
  • The UAE nuclear power plants will be established in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, so for Abu Dhabi nuclear jobs, apply to ENEC, the developer of the nuclear energy program in the UAE. Or to FANR, the regulator. Or to one of the many contractors that will be involved in building the Abu Dhabi nuclear power plants and related facilities and services.
  • List of companies and organisations with Abu Dhabi nuclear jobs might include (to be updated)
    • FANR
    • ENEC
    • KEPCO
  • There is no nuclear industry in the emirate of Dubai, apart from perhaps Dubai nuclear medicine and radiology related research and treatment in the health industry? Try some of the insititutes in Dubai Healthcare City for example.
UAE nuclear power timeline and history
  • 2020 - 3 more nuclear power plants scheduled to come online in the UAE.
  • 2017 - date when the first of 4 nuclear power stations in the UAE expected to come online (or the first 2 reactors according to a Bloomberg report 04 Oct 2009).
  • 15 Aug 2012 - The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation awarded six fuel contracts worth $3 billion for the Barakh plant to ConverDyn (USA), Uranium One Inc. (Canada), URENCO (UK), Rio Tinto (UK-Australia), TENEX (Russia), Areva (France). The contracts will enable the power station to generate 450 million megawatts for 15 years after the plant opens in 2017.
  • 18 Jul 2012 - The UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation gave approval for the UAE to start building the first nuclear power station. The licence covers the construction of the first two reactors at the Barakah site.
  • 2012 - expected start date of construction for the first UAE nuclear reactor.
  • 28 Oct 2010 - FANR issued its first regulation - the "Radiation Dose Limits and Optimisation of Radiation Protection for Nuclear Facilities" governing legal radiation limits for nuclear industry workers and members of the public, and optimisation of radiation protection at nuclear facilities during design, construction, normal operation and decommissioning (WAM 28 October 2010).
  • 23 Sep 2010 - UAE elected to the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
  • 24 Aug 2010 - FANR signs a co-operation agreement in Washington DC with the US nuclear regulatory authority, the FANR-NRC Cooperation Arrangement. The agreement allows for the exchange of technical information and cooperation in nuclear safety and security.
  • 25 May 2010 - FANR signs a co-operation agreement with the Korean Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS) for technical information exchange.
  • Apr 2010 - ENEC chooses site location on government land in Braka, on the coast of the Abu Dhabi emirate near Ruwais.
  • 16 Mar 2010 - development of the Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII) announced, to offer educational programs in nuclear energy safety and security.
  • Mar 2010 - KEPCO awards a construction contract worth AED 20.6 billion ($5.59 bn) to Hyundai Engineering and Construction, and Samsung C and T for the construction of the first four nuclear power plants in Abu Dhabi.
  • 27 Dec 2009 - ENEC announces the selection of a consortium including KEPCO of South Korea to design, build, and operate nuclear power plants in the UAE.
  • 23 Dec 2009 - formation of ENEC announced.
  • 16 Dec 2009 - US-UAE agreement for peaceful nuclear energy cooperation comes into force.
  • 04 Oct 2009 - Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation (FANR) established with William Travers as the first Director-General.
  • 04 Oct 2009 - Federal Law issued on the peaceful uses of nuclear power in the UAE.
  • Apr 2009 - UAE and IAEA sign the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement covering inspections of nuclear plants, facilities, and operations in the UAE.
  • 11 March 2009 - Dr William Travers presentation "Building a New Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority for the United Arab Emirates" to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)?
  • Apr 2008 - UAE nuclear white paper and policy on the development of a peaceful nuclear energy program published.
Abu Dhabi UAE nuclear power plant contract
  • Bidders for the construction of the first UAE nuclear plants in Abu Dhabi included
    • French consortium including Areva, Electricité de France SA, GDF Suez SA, Total SA
    • US-Japanese consortium with General Electric (USA), and Hitachi Ltd.
    • Consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), including Westinghouse (USA).
  • KEPCO won the contract in December 2009.
UAE nuclear white paper
  • eaa.abudhabi.ae/Sites/EAA/Content/EN/PDF/nuclear-whitepaper-eng,property=pdf,bereich=eaa,sprache=en,rwb=true.pdf (17 pages, pdf download).
UAE nuclear power headings

Abu Dhabi nuclear program
Abu Dhabi nuclear project
Dubai nuclear energy committee
Dubai nuclear power plant korea
UAE nuclear iran
UAE nuclear program

Last update Thursday 20-Sep-2012. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
Related pages
Related websites (new window)
  • www.enec.gov.ae - Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) website, in Arabic and English
  • www.fanr.gov.ae - Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) website, in Arabic and English


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