Monday 28 September 2020

UAE opens nuclear tech centre at Khalifa university

ABU DHABI, November 28, 2019

The UAE Ministry of Energy and Industry (MoEI) has opened the Emirates Nuclear Technology Center at Khalifa University Campus in Abu Dhabi which will support the long-term sustainability of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program by creating a dedicated innovation hub for peaceful nuclear technologies.

A MoU was exchanged by Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, and Lee Taeho, Second Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea, during the launch ceremony held today.

It has been signed between the UAE MoEI and the Ministry of Science, and Information and Communications Technology of Republic of Korea, under the UAE and Korea Consultation Committee on Nuclear Technology. The MoU outlines the framework of cooperation on research projects between the center’s relevant parties.

The signing ceremony was attended by Enec CEO Engineer Mohamed Al Hammadi; Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation (FANR) Director General Christer Viktorsson; Khalifa University (KU) Executive Vice President Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi and senior officials from all five entities.

The Emirates Nuclear Technology Center will engage in research projects designed and approved by Enec and FANR, and will be conducted by students, academics and researchers from Khalifa University.

The Center’s initial research projects will focus on three areas: nuclear safety and systems, nuclear materials science and chemistry, and radiation safety in the environment.

Through the MoU, the center will benefit from sharing knowledge and expertise from the Korean Nuclear energy industry, which has been operating for over 40 years, along with experience in developing nuclear research reactors.

“It is my pleasure to launch the Emirates Nuclear Technology Centre in Abu Dhabi, which is an outcome of our collaborative approach with our South Korean government counterparts and all UAE nuclear stakeholders, who are working to further Nuclear Science & Technology Research and Development," remarked Al Mazrouei.

"Investing in research and innovation are prerequisites for the long-term success of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy industry. It will further position the UAE as an international role model for the development of a peaceful nuclear energy program by building UAE National capabilities and conducting industry-leading research on radiation safety and nuclear energy technologies," he added.

On the deal, Taeho said: "Within the frame of the High-Level Consultation on Nuclear Cooperation, Korea and our UAE partner are expanding areas of cooperation in the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant construction and operations, new nuclear energy project in third countries, nuclear R&D, and safety regulations."

"I believe that the MoU on nuclear energy and R&D cooperation will serve as a catalyst that will further accelerate our bilateral nuclear energy cooperation," he added.

Al Hammadi expressed delight at being a part of this initiative to establish the Emirates Nuclear Technology Center.

"As the UAE’s emerging peaceful nuclear energy industry continues to grow and develop, collaboration and cooperation between academia and industry will allow us to ensure the long-term sustainability of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, as well as enhancing our global competitiveness and high standards of safety. Through its projects and research the Center will provide talented UAE Nationals with the opportunity to work alongside international experts in conducting cutting-edge research, thereby developing their skills and capabilities within the field of peaceful nuclear energy," he noted.

Dr Arif Sultan said KU was delighted to join the official launch of the Emirates Nuclear Technology Center (ENTC), hosted on its campus, in collaboration with stakeholders including their partners ENEC and FANR.

"The ENTC reflects another strong commitment from Khalifa University to contribute to enhancing the UAE’s nuclear technology research capability and support our key stakeholder’s goals for the delivery of safe, clean and efficient nuclear technology to meet the UAE 2030 vision. The center will significantly optimize the multidisciplinary capabilities through Khalifa University’s diverse community of faculty and researchers to meet the national objectives," noted Dr Sultan.

Viktorsson said investing in research and innovation in nuclear technologies was indispensable to ensure the sustainability of the nuclear program.

"We will work closely with our partners to identify priority areas, focus on strategic nuclear sector research, ensure continuity of projects and provide support to national and international initiatives in line with FANR’s R&D Policy, which was launched in 2017," he noted.

FANR will support the mandate of the new center by utilizing its Research and Development Program. Its Research and Development Program aims to develop and attract UAE Nationals by providing opportunities for postgraduate education and research in the nuclear field, said Viktorsson.

It also aims to ensure sound technical basis for all regulatory activities, mitigate risks related to safety, security and safeguards in the UAE nuclear energy sector,” he stated.

The MoU comes at a pivotal time for ENEC, with the 4 Units of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant more than 93% complete.  Unit 4 is over 82% complete, Unit 3 is more than 91% and Unit 2 is more than 95%.

Unit 1 construction has been completed and is currently undergoing operational readiness preparations pending regulatory approval and receipt of the Operating License for Unit 1 from FANR, anticipated in early 2020.-TradeArabia News Service


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