Nuclear emergency alerts through UAE mosques and SMS

Warning plan revealed ahead of reactor launch at Western Region’s Barakah plant
Nuclear emergency alerts through UAE mosques and SMS
By Staff writer
Wed 15 Jun 2016 12:24 PM

UAE residents would be alerted of a radiation breach at the Western Region’s Barakah nuclear plant, it has been reported.

The first of four reactors will go online early in 2017, regulators announced on Tuesday.

A breach would automatically trigger an emergency plan notifying UAE residents through mosque loudspeakers, mobile phone SMSs, media alerts, police advisories and road signs, reported Gulf News.

The plan was finalised by the UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Radiation (FANR). Christer Viktorsson, director-general of FANR, said public transparency was a critical component of ensuring public safety, said the report.

“FANR nuclear safety regulations aim to reduce the risks of a nuclear incident or emergency to the maximum extent possible,” Viktorsson said. “But it is still prudent to have systems in place to respond to an unlikely accident, so FANR requires users of nuclear materials in the UAE to prepare such measures.

“Those measures include establishing effective communications during an emergency, as such tools are critical to protecting the public and any workers responding to a nuclear event. For its part, FANR has developed internal communication procedures and has worked closely with key UAE agencies, such as the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, to ensure the timely release of accurate information during an emergency.”

Four nuclear power reactors are being constructed by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) with a completion deadline set for 2020.

With four reactors online, the facility is expected to deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs and save up to 12 million tonnes in carbon emissions every year.

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