UAE expects nuclear energy to eventually account for a quarter of its power needs

UAE will learn from Japan as it plans first nuclear reactors

The United Arab Emirates says it will apply lessons learned from the Japan disaster when it plans its nuclear programme.

Nuclear regulator the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has asked the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) to outline how it will review the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi plant and incorporate this into plans for nuclear reactors.

The UAE expects to start its first nuclear power plant in 2017 and says it expects nuclear energy to eventually account for 25 per cent of its power requirements.

William Travers, director general of the FANR, said: "We understand that ENEC has been following the developments since the tsunami struck Japan and is considering whether there are any implications for its planned units."

Workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant have fought to contain a radiation leak following the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan three weeks ago.

ENEC will provide the independent regulator with its plans by April for how it will implement lessons learned from Fukushima into the design and operation of its proposed Braka reactors.

FANR has been reviewing ENEC's construction licence application for two nuclear power plants at the Braka site since December last year.

ENEC says it specialises in the "deployment, ownership and operation" of nuclear power plants in Abu Dhabi, "thereby providing a reliable source of energy to meet the UAE's growing energy needs".

The UAE, the world's third-largest oil exporter, has struggled to meet power demand growth as its economy expands.

It embarked on a nuclear programme to meet that demand rather than burn more oil, and export less crude, at its power plants.

Korea Electric Power Corp, which led a consortium that won the UAE nuclear deal in 2009, plans to build four 1,400 megawatt reactors on the coast of Abu Dhabi.

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