ABU DHABI // Another important milestone was passed in the UAE's nuclear energy programme today as a bid was submitted for two more nuclear units for the coastal site of Barakah.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) filed the Construction License Application (CLA) for two more units with the United Arab Emirates Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).
It comes after the green light was given for the first two units in July last year.
"This marks another important milestone in our programme as we work towards delivering safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE," said Enec chief executive officer, Mohamed Al Hammadi.
"The team has worked diligently to deliver to our regulator a comprehensive, high quality application that draws from all of the experience we have gained - through our reference plants in Korea, the lessons learned from Fukushima, and our own experience with the first application process for Units 1 and 2," he added.
The 10,000-page application will now undergo a rigorous review process by FANR.
The licence application for Units 1 and 2 was 9,000 pages and the review process included more than 1,800 requests for additional information, as well as meetings and site visits.
"We remain committed to achieving the highest standards of safety and quality in all aspects of our programme, and will continue to work under FANR's strict regulations. We now look forward to supporting FANR's review process," added Mr Al Hammadi.
The application is the culmination of 18 months of intense work by Enec and its Prime Contractor, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), a statement released by Enec said.
The corporation was established in 2009 to oversee the construction and operation of the UAE's first nuclear power station.
It is building four units in Barakah in the Western Region of the emirate.
The first plant is scheduled for completion in 2017.
Construction work on the first two units is progressing on schedule, Enec said.
The first safety concrete was poured for Unit 1 in July last year and extensive preparatory works are now underway on Unit 2 - with the first safety concrete expected to be poured in the first six months of this year.
The application includes a description of the plant design and a summary of the associated safety analyses, as well as information on how nuclear fuel and nuclear-related components will be kept secure, and in line with UAE safeguards commitments.
The CLA also includes the design changes identified from lessons-learned from the Fukushima accident.
Fahad Al Qahtani, director of external affairs and communications at ENEC said: "We cannot predict when we will receive the construction License from FANR, but we are ready to answer any inquiries and provide further information FANR might require for reviewing the application."