Following the participation of a United Arab Emirates (UAE) delegation in an emergency response drill held in May at a French nuclear power plant, a delegation from IRSN traveled to Abu Dhabi in June 2014 at the invitation of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The main subjects discussed during the two-day visit were emergency management, mobile resources, communications as well as R&D.
The United Arab Emirates’ first two PWRs, each with a capacity of 1,400 MWe, are under construction at Barakah. In May, the country’s nuclear safety authority was invited to take part in a national emergency response drill at the Belleville-sur-Loire nuclear power plant in central France. In line with FANR’s desire to gain an independent view of emergency management expertise, its participation has given it a better understanding of how emergency management is organized in France as seen from various points of observation: that of the safety authority ASN, that of the technical emergency center (CTC) in IRSN, that of the operator EDF, and that of the local authorities.
Given the tight schedules for commissioning the two reactors at the Barakah site – the first in 2017 and the second in 2018 – FANR invited IRSN to Abu Dhabi one month after the drill to discuss how to set up an emergency management organization, and in particular how to organize operating procedures for emergency response, set up the appropriate logistics organization and train personnel.
FANR also manifested its interest in becoming involved in certain aspects of R&D projects carried out through European platforms in which IRSN plays a leading role.