Collaboration is Key for Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems

Apr 04, 2023

Earlier this year, we, at the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), hosted the International Conference on Effective Nuclear and Radiation Regulatory Systems: Preparing for the Future in a Rapidly Changing Environment in Abu Dhabi, where  more than 580 participants from 95 Member States and four international organisations gathered to discuss the role of the global regulatory community to ensure the effective of regulatory systems.


The selection of the theme for the conference "Preparing for the future in a rapidly changing environment" is crucial, given the changes that we have been witnessing in recent years to the global nuclear industry. The participants discussed emerging challenges such as the safety and security of new technologies, full lifecycle challenges of nuclear and non-nuclear applications as well as regulatory agility and being prepared for the unexpected circumstances that might occur and affect the nuclear sector at large.   Collaboration is a key perquisite for regulatory bodies to be ready for the future and ensure the sustainability of the nuclear sector.


 There has been a steady increase in the demand for nuclear energy, with about 60 reactors  that are under construction today and many countries are considering embarking on their own nuclear energy programs to meet the increasing demand for energy in addition to meeting their clean energy goals.


Such changes to the industry come with its set of challenges that Governments, regulators , operators and the international community needs to address and be prepared for ensuring the safe and  secure use of the nuclear energy and the application of radiation, while maintaining the  sustainability of the industry.


We, in the United Arab Emirates, are proud of the historic milestones made in the past decade to realize the UAE's Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme since the UAE government issued its nuclear policy in 2008. We have developed and implemented a robust regulatory infrastructure, which played a crucial role in supporting the programme successful execution .


The UAE is the first country in the Arab region to build and operate a nuclear power plant, and the first to start a new programme  since three decades. Three units of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant  are commercially operational and delivering electricity around the clock. We expect Unit 4 to receive the operating license later this year.  This success was the result of the UAE Government vision, commitment  and long term strategies in delivering a unique and responsible  peaceful nuclear energy programme supporting  the realization of the UAE's 2050 Energy Strategy.

The UAE has been taking concrete steps towards diversifying its energy mix, which have been evident in its 2050 Energy Strategy, and it is commitment  to achieve its Net Zero Goal by the year 2050. Furthermore, the hosting of the COP28 in the UAE later this  year, and declaring 2023 to be the Year of Sustainability are some of the initiatives taken by the UAE Government to address climate change, which is one of the key topics in this conference that is directly linked  the role of  nuclear industry and its regulation.


The development of  the UAE robust nuclear regulatory infrastructure was the result of our long and strong cooperation with our national and international partners, and in particular our close cooperation with the IAEA. The IAEA's support, since the inception of the UAE nuclear energy progamme, was instrumental and significant in developing the UAE nuclear regulations, policies and standards, hence positioning the UAE a role model for nuclear newcomer countries. 

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