Uae submits national report on spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management

On 29 June 2022, the United Arab Emirates submitted its fourth national report on compliance with its obligations under the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management.

The United Arab Emirates is a party to the Joint Convention, which is holding its seventh review conference at the Headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

The national report describes the legislative and regulatory measures taken by the United Arab Emirates to fulfil its obligations relating to the Joint Convention.

The Federal Nuclear Regulatory Authority (FANR) has issued and drafted six regulations containing requirements for the management of radioactive waste, such as “radiation protection and pre-disposal of radioactive waste management at nuclear facilities” and “facility decommissioning”, and is in the process of developing another regulation on “decommissioning trust funds”.

These efforts reflect the UAE’s commitment to its 2008 nuclear policy and its plans to establish an integrated waste management system that reflects the highest standards of international practice.

The report also discusses options for spent fuel and radioactive waste management. The Uae Nuclear Company (ENEC) and its affiliates have taken steps such as the Design of the Baraka nuclear plant that provides sufficient capacity to store spent fuel in pools made for each unit. In addition, the entities concerned are working on long-term spent fuel management options in different scenarios.

Uae submits national report on spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste management

The delegation also described measures taken to address non-nuclear radioactive wastes generated from medical and industrial facilities throughout the UAE. Currently, more than 2,000 license-holders are using controlled materials, and the UAE’s radioactive sources are used in the medical, industrial and educational sectors, as well as the oil and gas industry.

In addition, the UAE delegation described the efforts made by national stakeholders to build the capacity of Emiratis in the nuclear field in cooperation with a number of educational and training institutions in the UAE. In the last few years. Intensive training programmes were implemented to qualify and gain experience in the knowledge-intensive nuclear sector. Over the past four years FANR has also certified approximately 157 reactor operators/Senna reactor operators who are qualified to operate the nuclear power program.

The Uae’s Ambassador to the IAEA, Hamad Al-Kabi, said: “Of the united Arab emirates (uae) since the first day of the start nuclear energy program is committed to the highest safety standards and the international obligations, the united Arab emirates (uae) submit to the convention on the fourth of the nation’s report is the collective effort of stakeholders, our country to the public and the international community to share our management of spent fuel and radioactive waste and ensure the safety of people and the environment plan.”

The UAE delegation was led by Ambassador Al Kaabi to the IAEA, along with representatives of national nuclear stakeholders, including the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Authority, The Uae Nuclear Energy Company (ENEC) and NAWAH Energy Company.

The Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel And Radioactive Waste Management, which entered into force in 2001, calls on all parties to take measures to protect people and the environment from radiological and other hazards that may result from spent fuel and radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

Every three years, States parties submit a national report to the IAEA review conference on measures taken to fulfil their obligations under the Joint Convention. The United Arab Emirates acceded to the Joint Convention in 2009.

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