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PERMANENT MISSION OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

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UAE - IAEA Relations: Key Areas of Bilateral Cooperation

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Testimonial

Through active collaboration with the IAEA's Technical Cooperation (TC) Programme, the UAE receives technical expertise to achieve its national development priorities in  areas of human health, environmental protection, physics and chemical applications and sustainable energy development.

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The UAE follows recommendatrions of the IAEA in the development of required nuclear infrastructure. To evaluate and to strengthen such infrastructure, the UAE receives the IAEA review missions in order to obtain valuable feedback based on the highest expertise.  

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Since its establishment in 1957, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has played a pivotal role in assisting its Member States in the areas of peaceful uses of nuclear energy and nuclear applications.

 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been a Member State of the IAEA since 1976.

In 2008, the UAE announced the introduction of nuclear power to meet the nation’s growing demand for electricity. The undertaking of such a complex programme was accompanied by the establishment of a dedicated Permanent Mission to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the same year. Along this challenging path, the Permanent Mission of the UAE has facilitated the cooperation between the IAEA and UAE national stakeholders for the development of the country’s nuclear power programme, specifically in the form of expert reviews and trainings.

The Permanent Mission further serves as main liaison between the UAE Government and the IAEA in Vienna, Austria, in areas such as:

 

    • Close cooperation with the IAEA in implementing international agreements and conventions;

    • Obtaining technical assistance and advice from IAEA and international experts, and requesting peer reviews of UAE activities;

    • Closer partnership with the IAEA through providing feedback and assistance in developing the work of the IAEA and its Standards.  

The UAE has subscribed to all international instruments, treaties, agreements and conventions in connection with nuclear energy, nuclear safety, nuclear security and non-proliferation.

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Each year, tens of UAE experts participate in IAEA consultancy meetings related to nuclear safety, and security to discuss and further develop a working plan and guidance.

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"The UAE is the first country in 27 years to start the construction of its first nuclear power plant. Since this project was planned in 2008, the IAEA was involved, and has been cooperating with UAE in the planning of this project, as well as in capacity building. Even after completion of the project, we need to work with UAE to help to ensure the highest level of safety of the operation, emergency preparedness and handling of the waste."   

 

~ Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano meets with Foreign Minister, H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan during his official visit to the UAE, 29 January 2013

Close cooperation with the IAEA in implementing international agreements and conventions

 

The UAE concluded all major international conventions and agreements under the auspices of the IAEA:  

 

  • 1987 – UAE joined the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident

  • 1987 – UAE joined the Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency

  • 1995 – UAE joined the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

  • 2003 – UAE signed the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement

  • 2003 – UAE joined the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Materials

  • 2009 – UAE signed the Additional Protocol to the Safeguards Agreement (ratified in 2010)

  • 2009 – UAE ratified the Amendment to the Convention on Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities

  • 2009 – UAE joined the Convention on Nuclear Safety

  • 2009 – UAE joined the Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management

 

The Permanent Mission coordinates the implementation of international obligations stemming from agreements and conventions signed  by the UAE with the IAEA. The Mission oversees the submission of required national reports and declarations, presents the UAE's efforts in implementing the provisions of the conventions and agreements, and coordinates Technical Cooperation projects implementation among national stakeholders.

National reports can be found in the Reports section of this website.

 

 

Obtaining assistance and advice from IAEA experts and requesting peer reviews  of UAE activities

 

The UAE recognizes the important role that the IAEA plays in facilitating the implementation of effective programmes aimed at improving the scientific and technological capabilities of Member States. The UAE strongly supports the Technical Cooperation Programme under the IAEA, which assists its Member States, including the UAE, in obtaining technical expertise in the areas of nuclear energy, nuclear security, nuclear safety, and other nuclear applications in various fields.

The Permanent Mission assumes the role of National Liaison Officer, which constitutes the official channel through which the UAE partakes in IAEA activities, but also provides guidance to the Agency’s TC programme through General Conference resolutions and Board Decisions. The Mission facilitates dialogue with key national stakeholders in the TC programme, and supports Human Resources development in the nuclear field, through coordinating the participation of delegates and experts from the UAE in IAEA meetings and trainings. Furthermore, it oversees the planning and implementation of national and regional TC projects with IAEA.

The IAEA supports the UAE nuclear power programme through its provision of standards, guidance, peer review missions and assessments, technical and other specific assistance upon the UAE Government's request.  

 

The first in a series of peer reviews from the IAEA to the UAE was the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission, held in January 2011, which assessed the status of the UAE's national nuclear infrastructure. The second, which took place in December of the same year, was the IAEA Integrated Nuclear Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) Mission, which examined the UAE's regulatory framework for nuclear safety and radiation protection. The IAEA team of experts highlighted that it is the first time an IRRS Mission was held at such an early stage in a country embarking on a nuclear programme, and this significant progress promotes the UAE approach as a model for nuclear newcomers. Consecutively, an additional peer reviews were conducted such as: the IAEA’s SSAC Advisory Service under the overarching ISSAS Mission in May 2014 to review the UAE Systems of Accounting for and Control of Nuclear Material; a follow-up IRRS mission in February 2015; as well as the Emergency Preparedness Review (EPREV) Service Mission in March 2015, all of which evaluated the progress made in the development of the national nuclear infrastructure.

 

In addition to peer reviews, an important milestone in UAE’s cooperation with IAEA was the signing of its Country Profile Framework (CPF) in December 2011. The CPF constitutes the framework for short- and medium-term planning of technical cooperation between the UAE and the IAEA for the period of 2012-2016. It defines priority needs aligned with national development goals, to be addressed through IAEA’s technical cooperation support. The UAE CPF is being reviewed and updated for the coming period 2017-2021.

 

 

Closer partnership with the IAEA through providing feedback and assistance in developing the work of the IAEA and its Standards

 

The UAE contributes to the work of the IAEA by providing experts and sharing its experience of developing a nuclear programme. The UAE participates actively at the Nuclear Security Guidance Committee (NSGC) , the Commission on Safety Standards (CSS), the Nuclear Safety Standards Committee (NUSSC), the Radiation Safety Standards Committee (RASSC), the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Power Infrastructure, and the Steering Committee on Competence of Human Resources for Regulatory Body and the INPRO Steering Committee, among others.

 

The UAE also supports IAEA initiatives and projects. It pledged USD $10 million to the establishment of the IAEA Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) Fuel Bank. The Fuel Bank was inaugurated in August 2015, with the Host State Agreement signed between the IAEA and Kazakhstan. In addition, the UAE contributed USD $1 million to the IAEA project of expansion and enhancement of the Safeguards Analytical Laboratory.