Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is seeking approval to proceed with preparatory work for the power block to house the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first nuclear reactors.

ENEC has asked the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) for a licence so that concrete can be poured for building Braka nuclear Units 1 and 2, said ENEC. The corporation aims to pour concrete for the first reactor in late 2012 and for the second in late 2013.

The UAE plans to build four nuclear reactors by 2020 with the first online in 2017. FANR asked for design and site reviews after the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011, but said the reviews would not delay plans.

“ENEC is not authorised to pour concrete for the permanent power block until it is granted a construction licence from FANR,” it said in a statement. “ENEC submitted its construction licence application for Braka Units 1 and 2 to FANR on December 27, 2010 and the application is currently under review.”

A consortium of Korean companies led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) won the contract to build the reactors in December 2009.

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