FANR is the nuclear regulatory body and is responsible for regulating the design, siting, construction, operation and decommissioning of all nuclear facilities in the UAE including nuclear power plants. FANR's role is clearly differentiated from that of the operator, who is in charge of running and operating the nuclear power plant or facility. The final responsibility for safety rests with the operator of the facility.
Regulations and Guides
One of FANR's main responsibilities is to develop a nuclear regulatory framework for the construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants in the UAE in line with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safety Standards and internationally recognised regulatory practices. FANR creates regulations to establish requirements with which all operators must comply. FANR also develops regulatory guides as a means of providing detailed and specific information on acceptable approaches to satisfying the requirements established in the regulations.
Licences for Nuclear Power Plants
Federal Law by Decree No 6 of 2009, Concerning the Peaceful uses of Nuclear Energy
otherwise known as the UAE Nuclear Law requires that regulated activities be carried out only by holders of a FANR licence. All licences are facility-specific, which means that for each facility the operator must have the relevant licence(s). It is the responsibility of the operator to apply for all licences. It is FANR's responsibility to assess the operator's application in terms of safety, security and safeguards. The operator will be able to start the activity only upon FANR's approval of the application and issuance of a licence. Before any nuclear power plant operating activity begins, including fuel loading into the nuclear reactor, an operating licence must be granted by FANR.
Safety of the construction and operation of a nuclear power plant is an overriding priority for FANR. Before any licence is granted, the applicant is required to submit documents that give a detailed demonstration of the safety and security of the facility, addressing the siting, design, construction and operational aspects. FANR carries out an in-depth review and assessment of these submissions. FANR will grant a licence only when it is satisfied that the applicant's proposals and commitments comply with FANR's safety requirements.
Inspection and Enforcement
FANR has the authority to implement an inspection programme in relation to any regulated activity to assure itself that the operator complies with the applicable law and regulations and any conditions set out in the licence requirements.
Inspections are intended to assure FANR that:
- facilities, equipment and work performance meet all necessary requirements
- there is compliance with documents and instructions
- individuals employed by the operator (including contractors) possess the necessary competence for the effective performance of their functions
- inadequacies and deviations are identified and corrected, or justified without undue delay
- any lessons learned in the area of nuclear safety are identified and applied as appropriate
- the operator is managing safety in accordance with FANR safety requirements
In the event there are any deviations or non-compliance with the applicable requirements, FANR has the legal authority to take enforcement actions against the operator such as imposing fines.