UAE selects Braka as site for nuclear project

25 April 2010

Requests to prepare site and manufacture parts at Braka for nuclear reactors have been submitted

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has filed applications to build its first nuclear power plant at Braka on the coast of Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, near the Saudi Arabian border. The UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) will now decide whether the site is an appropriate location for the four nuclear reactors.

Enec evaluated ten sites across the UAE, and then narrowed that group to a set of preferred and alternate sites, which were subject to further evaluation. Each of those sites was found to be suitable for construction and operation of nuclear power plants. The Braka site was chosen on the basis of environmental, technical and business considerations. The site, including area set aside for temporary construction space, covers approximately 13 square kilometres.

A request for a site preparation license has been submitted. If granted, this would allow Enec to conduct site preparation activities that are not related to nuclear safety. Another application has been submitted to manufacture and assemble nuclear safety related equipment. This permission is needed for Enec to proceed with the manufacture of various parts of the nuclear power plants, including the reactor pressure vessel, steam generators, pressurisers, coolant pumps and other components.

The manufacture of these components would be the responsibility of South Korean Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction, part of the Korea Electric Power Company-led consortium, which is Enec’s prime contractor. Pending regulatory approval, Enec would anticipate starting some of the manufacturing later this year.

A final document, the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), has been filed with the Environmental Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD). The SEA clarifies the environmental impacts of the project and includes information on mitigation measures and monitoring programs. The study alsoaddresses the construction activities on site.

Enec is also in talks with four banks as it seeks to appoint a financial adviser to assist with the development of the scheme.

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