The nuclear regulatory bodies of the UAE and the US have inked a dealfor cooperation in areas like safety, security and safeguards of the nuclear installations, taking the historic 123 agreement signed by the two countries earlier for collaboration in nuclear fields to greater heights.
The latest agreement has been signed between the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the UAE and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of the US at the NRC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C, according to a communication issued by the UAE’s official news agencyWamhere on Monday.
This Arrangement was made within the framework of the bilateral nuclear cooperation (123) agreement between the Governments of the UAE and the US which was signed in January last year and implemented on December 17, 2009,Wamreport said.
The signing ceremony was attended by Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the US, and other UAE officials. The FANR-NRC Cooperation Arrangement will allow the exchange of technical information, joint safety research and training for nuclear safety personnel.
The 123 Agreement has a term of 30 years and permits the transfer of nuclear material, equipment (including reactors) and components for civil nuclear research and civil nuclear power production. The strong commitments made by the UAE on nuclear non-proliferation had made it easier to get the US Congressional nod for the 123 Agreement.
Earlier in February this year, the UAE and the US had signed an‘implementation arrangement’ which would providefurther framework for cooperation between the two governments in the peaceful nuclear energy field.
The ‘implementation arrangement’ was then signed by the UAE Minister of State for Foreign affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, and the visiting US Secretary of Energy,Steven Chu, in Abu Dhabi and relates to information exchange between the two countries on building upcapabilitiesfor the development of nuclear energy forpeaceful purposes.
Agreements are also being worked out between the UAE and the US in terms of capacity building in the nuclear field in the UAE.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, or ENEC, has identified Braka near Ruwais in the western region of Abu Dhabi as the tentative site for the first nuclear power station in the UAE.
The first nuclear power station in the country will comprise of four 1,400 MWnuclear power plants and the Korean consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation or KEPCO has already been awarded the Dh75 billion contractfor the construction of the plants. The FANR has recently given clearance for site preparation for Braka site.