International Experts commend UAE’s Progress on Nuclear Regulatory Framework

ABU DHABI, 8th February 2015 (WAM) – The United Arab Emirate’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has continued its strong progress towards developing a regulatory framework for nuclear safety in the nation, according to a team of international safety experts that today completed a one-week review of that framework.

At the UAEs’ request, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) assembled a team of 10 international and IAEA experts to examine FANR’s progress towards implementing recommendations and suggestions made by an IAEA Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team in 2011. At that time, the IAEA team found that FANR was using many good practices to oversee the safety of all nuclear related-activities in the UAE, and in a comprehensive report the team also offered guidance on ways for FANR to improve further.

“This month’s IRRS follow-up mission has shown that FANR has completed adopting nearly all the aice the IRRS mission offered three years ago,” said team leader Carl-Magnus Larsson, head of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.

The IAEA team found that FANR is effectively implementing 43 of the 48 findings made by the IRRS mission in 2011. The team also counselled that the UAE’s nuclear safety programme could be enhanced when ongoing efforts to develop a policy for radioactive waste management are completed.

“By inviting an IRRS mission, the UAE demonstrated its commitment to strengthen nuclear and radiation safety, and to learn from international experience,” said Denis Flory, the IAEA’s Deputy Director General for Nuclear Safety and Security. “And inviting an IRRS follow-up mission shows stronger commitment to this goal.” In addition to its follow-up review, the IAEA team conducted its first assessment of FANR’s regulatory system to oversee the safe transport of radioactive materials and made two recommendations.

“We are grateful for the supportive comments and excellent guidance offered by the IAEA team,” said Dr William D. Travers, FANR’s Director General. “As a fundamental principle, FANR seeks to continuously improve its efforts to maximise nuclear safety and security in the UAE.” The IAEA experts delivered a draft report of their review today, and they are expected to complete a final report within approximately three months. FANR anticipates that, in accordance with previous decisions, the UAE Government will publish the report.