Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has received approval for additional civil works on Barakah nuclear units 3 and 4 under its limited construction license.
The approval will help ensure that the units remain on schedule to begin commercial operations in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
ENEC has also received approval from the UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) for civil works in preparation for pouring safety concrete on buildings in units 1 and 2, it said in a statement.
The agency is not authorised to pour safety concrete on Barakah units 3 and 4 until it is granted the construction license by the FANR. An application for a full construction license, submitted in March 2013 to FANR, is currently under review, the statement said.
ENEC has also submitted an environmental impact assessment, which is pending approval from the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi.
In order to diversify its energy production, the UAE has been stepping up its nuclear programme.
By 2020, four nuclear plants will be generating up to a quarter of the nation’s electricity supply. The first two plants are up to 35 per cent complete and are on schedule, ENEC said.
Unit 1 is scheduled to enter commercial operations in 2017 while Unit 2 is scheduled for operations in 2018, pending regulatory approvals. ENEC will apply for an Operating License for Units 1 and 2 in 2015, the statement said.
The UAE awarded a South Korean consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp a contract to build the four nuclear reactors.
Construction began in mid-2012 on the Barakah-1 reactor, which will be the first serving a Gulf country when it starts in two years.