The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation,ENEC, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding,MoU, with the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency,Andra, on the sidelines of the 63rd Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, Austria.
The MoU was signed by Eng. Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, and Pierre-Marie Abadie, Chief Executive Officer of Andra, in the presence of Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency,IAEA, and Xavier Sticker, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and International Organisations in Vienna The MoU has been signed as part of ENEC’s proactive approach to developing a long-term strategy for waste management. The MoU is an important component in the strategy development, as a result of Andra’s proven expertise in this area.
Andra is a governmental organisation in charge of the radioactive waste management development program in France, and is seen as a leading radioactive waste management organization with extensive knowledge of safety assessments, site investigations, design and operation of disposal facilities. Andra is working on the Industrial Geological Storage Center Known as CIGEO project consisting of a high and intermediate level waste underground repository in Bure, France.
Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, said: "This is an important memorandum and comes as part of our commitments set out at the very beginning of the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. These commitments include the UAE’s policy for non-proliferation, transparency and the development of a comprehensive radioactive waste management system that reflects the highest standards of safety, quality and international best practices."
"We have put in place a proactive approach to planning for the future requirements of the UAE nuclear energy industry alongside our UAE stakeholders, and in line with our international commitments. By working closely with Andra we will be sharing best practices and insights for the future," added Al Hammadi.
Pierre-Marie Abadie, CEO of Andra, said: "With more than 30 years of experience in the management of radioactive waste, Andra, a French national agency, has an international objective to support countries in setting up in a timely manner the responsible management of radioactive waste. It is the spirit of the collaboration with ENEC to whom it will bring the competence of its experts to support the implementation of this policy, respectful in the long-term safety and environmental requirements recommended by the international authorities."
The construction of the Barakah plant is progressing steadily; the latest construction completion percentages show that Unit 2 stands at 95 percent, Unit 3 is more than 91 percent, and Unit 4 is more than 82 percent, while the overall construction completion percentage is more than 93 percent. The construction of Unit 1 has been completed in accordance with the highest global standards of quality and safety, and it is currently undergoing commissioning and testing, prior to regulatory review and receipt of the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation. All four units will deliver clean, efficient and reliable electricity to the UAE, preventing the release of up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year.