Third Coordination Meeting on the UAE Integrated Work Plan for its Nuclear Power Programme

The third annual meeting to review the status of the implementation of an Integrated Work Plan (IWP) for building nuclear power infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates took place from 15 to 16 April 2015, at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna.

The 2015 IWP Coordination Meeting brought together representatives from the relevant UAE institutions and IAEA technical experts. The meeting reviewed the progress achieved in 2014 by national counterparts, in respect to developing nuclear power infrastructure. The UAE counterparts included representatives of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Khalifa University and the UAE Permanent Mission.

During this two-day coordination meeting, participants discussed the progress in the national nuclear power programme and reviewed the implementation of the agreed-upon IWP activities and also finalized future plans for IAEA assistance to the UAE programme.

The IAEA team expressed appreciation for the opportunity to work with the UAE on newly developed tools such the IAEA peer reviews and learn in a process how these tools would work in practice, in light of assisting newcomer countries in the development of a nuclear energy programme.

“We thank the UAE for sharing its experience on developing a nuclear energy programme. There are many countries looking at the UAE’s experience and approach,” said Anne Starz, IAEA Nuclear Energy Department.

The IWP meeting specifically reviewed the implementation of activities under the IWP in 2014, which constitutes 24 activities in accordance with the Key Infrastructure Issues under the IAEA Milestones Approach.

These activities include the Agency’s assistance to the UAE nuclear power programme through review missions and capacity building in the areas of nuclear safety, safeguards, regulatory framework, radiation protection, human resources development, environmental protection, emergency planning, security and physical protection and radioactive waste management.

The IAEA experts noted advanced progress on the implementation of the IWP, which already achieved milestones planned for 2015.

"Activities implemented under the UAE Integrated Work Plan had tripled in 2014 in comparison to the previous year and more than 70% of these activities were supported through IAEA Technical Cooperation projects. The UAE national TC Programme is one of the successful technical cooperation collaborations in the region," noted Najat Mokhtar, TCAP Director.

The UAE hosted a number of review missions including the Integrated Regulatory Review Service follow-up mission in January 2015 and an Emergency Preparedness Review Service mission in March 2015.

The initial IWP was signed between the UAE and IAEA on 5 June 2013, to support the implementation of the national nuclear power programme. All activities, issues and the five-year work schedule outlined under the IWP 2013-2017 are integrated within national Technical Cooperation (TC) projects.

The last IWP work-plan updated was in February 2014.