IAEA experts conclude UAE made significant improvements towards occupational radiation protection - GulfToday

IAEA experts conclude UAE made significant improvements towards occupational radiation protection


The Barakah Nuclear Power plant. File photo

The United Arab Emirates has made significant improvements in developing and strengthening its occupational radiation protection infrastructure since the 2015’s Occupational Radiation Protection Appraisal Service (ORPAS) visit to the UAE, according to the experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who concluded a week-long follow-up review of the UAE’s radiation protection arrangements.

At the UAE Government’s request, the IAEA assembled an Extended Occupational Radiation Protection Appraisal Service (ORPAS) Follow-up Mission, comprising seven international reviewers and an IAEA Coordinator to review the progress made in the UAE based on the ORPAS’s 2015 recommendations and suggestions regarding the radiation protection of worker’s arrangements and effectiveness. This also includes new activities such as the space programme, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) Treatment and Disposal Facility, and the Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) to meet the rapid development of the country in various sectors.


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The IAEA’s 2015 ORPAS Mission recommendations and suggestions, which were addressed and closed by the UAE, included establishing the National Dose Registry, harmonising health surveillance procedures, approving dosimetry services and providing training for different stakeholders on radiation protection.

The mission members reviewed the legislative and regulatory infrastructure for Occupational Radiation Protection by visiting UAE government officials, including FANR, the UAE Space Agency and others. They also reviewed the technical service providers, such as the FANR’s Second Standards Dosimetry Lab, which was reviewed for the first time in the mission. They also visited the Barakah Nuclear Power plant as well as other medical facilities.

International Atomic Energy Agency experts visit to the UAE.

"The UAE has made significant progress in building its robust radiation protection infrastructure over the past years. The IAEA’s follow-up mission is an opportunity to reflect on such progress and also work on regulating new sectors in the UAE, such as the space programme. The UAE stakeholders demonstrated their commitment to openness and transparency by participating in the review. We fully intend to continue honouring this commitment and to invite the IAEA to conduct a follow-up mission to check up on our progress,” said Raoul Awad, Deputy Director-General of Operations of FANR.

The IAEA team identified several strengths in the UAE’s Occupational Radiation Protection arrangements, including demonstrating a strong commitment to enhancing plans related to occupational radiation protection arrangements; appropriate and effective implementation of the national framework for the radiation protection of workers.

The mission underscored that Barakah Nuclear Power Plant developed and implemented a radiation protection programme that fully complies with national regulations and relevant IAEA safety standards.

Since its setup 13 years ago, FANR has established the UAE’s nuclear regulatory framework, including measures intended to protect workers who may be exposed to radiation exposure in their workplace. Under such a framework, FANR licenses all entities that use radiation-based technologies and ensures their compliance with regulations and a system of inspections and enforcement mechanisms.

IAEA’s ORPAS missions provide independent reviews of legislation, regulation, and practical implementation of requirements at facilities and technical service providers regarding occupational radiation protection. They are intended for organisations that utilise radiation in facilities or activities, technical service providers, and regulatory bodies.




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