UAE Regulator Doubles Down on Nuclear Safety

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced a continued focus on bolstering nuclear security and radiation protection measures throughout 2024. Christer Viktorsson, FANR's Director-General, outlined the organization's plans during a recent media briefing, highlighting both past achievements and upcoming initiatives.

Viktorsson emphasized FANR's dedication to ensuring the "safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy and radiation material" within the UAE. This commitment translates into safeguarding not only the public but also workers and the environment.

FANR's 2023 efforts included intensified regulation of radioactive sources, cybersecurity inspections at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, and collaborations with the National Guards Command to solidify physical protection measures. The organization also demonstrated its focus on public and environmental well-being by launching the UAE's first Master of Science in Medical Physics and certifying thousands of nuclear and radiological emergency workers. Furthermore, FANR laid the groundwork for the 2024-2027 cycle, designed to enhance the country's Radiation Protection Infrastructure.

Looking ahead, Viktorsson detailed FANR's intention to roll out a series of new initiatives throughout 2024. These initiatives will encompass a broad spectrum of areas, including nuclear security, radiation safety, and even nuclear waste management. The specific details of these plans have not yet been disclosed, but Viktorsson's announcement underscores FANR's ongoing commitment to comprehensive nuclear safety within the UAE.

The UAE's move towards nuclear energy began in 2009, with construction on the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant commencing in 2012. The first reactor at Barakah achieved criticality in 2020, marking a significant milestone in the nation's nuclear program. With commercial operations commencing in early 2021, Barakah became the first operational nuclear power plant in the Arab world.

FANR's unwavering focus on robust safety measures plays a crucial role in ensuring public confidence in the UAE's nuclear energy program. As the nation continues to harness nuclear power for its growing energy demands, FANR's commitment to cutting-edge security and radiation protection protocols will be paramount.

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