By Andy Sambidge
Licences an 'important milestone' on road to producing safe nuclear energy for the UAE.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said on Sunday that it welcomed winning two licences from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) for work related to Braka, its preferred site for the UAE's first nuclear power plants.
"We're pleased to have received the two approvals from our regulator," said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC's CEO in comments published by news agency WAM.
"This is an important milestone for ENEC on our road to producing safe nuclear power to fuel the growth of the United Arab Emirates."
FANR announced on Thursday that it had approved two licence applications made by ENEC in April.
The licences will allow ENEC to proceed with the manufacture of various parts of the nuclear power plants, something it expects to begin later this year.
ENEC still must receive a construction environmental permit from from the Environmental Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) to begin the civil work authorised by the site preparation licence.
In December 2009, a South Korean consortium won a $40bn deal to build and operate four nuclear reactors for the UAE, beating US and French rivals to one of the Middle East's biggest ever energy contracts.
Under the deal, the first nuclear plant in the Gulf Arab region is scheduled to start supplying power to the UAE grid in 2017.