1. Regulatory approval was granted for the construction of Barakah units 3 and 4, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has stepped up efforts to develop a skilled Emirati workforce to staff the country’s growing nuclear sector.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) board of management approved ENEC’s application to build two additional Korean-designed APR1400 pressurized water reactors yesterday. The licence permits ENEC to construct the reactors, as well as to import equipment and technology exclusively for use in the project and to conduct activities related to the construction project, but not to operate the reactors. For that, the company must apply for a separate operating licence. According to FANR, ENEC is expected to apply next year for a licence to operate the first two Barakah units. Unit 1 is expected to come on line in 2017, with unit 2 following in 2018.
Site preparation work is already under way for units 3 and 4 under a limited construction licence from FANR. The approval of the full construction licence will enable the company to go ahead with pouring initial safety concrete. The units are scheduled to enter operation in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
2. Forbes – energy officials in Saudi Arabia announced plans to become a major nuclear energy state, assuring the reactors would be used only for peaceful purposes (The Nuclear Wire). They intend to move fast, beginning construction by year’s end.
The Saudi Royal Family hopes that nuclear will provide 15% of the Kingdom’s power (18 GWe) within 20 years, together with a similar 15% (40 GWe) from solar (WNN). They are planning to invest $80 billion to build over a dozen nuclear power plants as fast as possible, intending for the first reactor to come online in only eight years