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The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has applied for a construction licence to build two new nuclear reactors, Barak 3 and 4.

ENEC said that the submission of the application to the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) is the culmination of 18 months of work between the firm and its prime contractor, Korea Electric Power Co (KEPCO).

It follows on from the approval gained to build Barakh 1 and 2 in July last year. The first pour of safety concrete took place shortly after and preparatory work has now begun on the second unit.

The four APR1400 units are set to be built in the Western region of Abu Dhabi, with the first plant due to complete by 2017.

ENEC chief executive officer Mohamed Al Hammadi said: “This marks another important milestone in our program as we work towards delivering safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE.

“The team has worked diligently to deliver to our regulator a comprehensive, high quality application that draws from all of the experience we have gained – through our reference plants in Korea, the lessons learned from Fukushima, and our own experience with the first application process for Units 1 & 2.”

The 10,000 page application will now undergo rigorous scrutiny before a decision on the units is taken by FANR.

ENEC said that the review process for its first two units included more than 1,800 requests for more information, as well as meetings and site visits.

“We remain committed to achieving the highest standards of safety and quality in all aspects of our program, and will continue to work under FANR’s strict regulations," said Al Hammadi. "We now look forward to supporting FANR’s review process."