The UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) last month issued the operating licence for Unit 2 of Barakah nuclear plant – located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi – to Nawah Energy Company.
A subsidiary of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), Nawah is responsible for the operation of the country’s first nuclear plant.
The operating licence, with an estimated duration of 60 years, authorises Nawah to commission and operate the Unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, said Enec.
FANR reviewed the 14,000-page operating licence application for Units 1 and 2, conducted more than 220 inspections and requested 59 additional pieces of information for Unit 2 on various matters related to reactor design, safety and other issues to ensure the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant’s complete compliance with all regulatory requirements, it added.
Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Deputy Chairman at FANR, said: “This is another historic moment for the UAE, being the first Arab country in the region to operate a nuclear power plant and culminating efforts of 13 years in building such a programme.”
“This milestone was achieved due to the UAE’s vision and its leadership to build a peaceful nuclear energy programme to cater for the future needs of energy in the country,” he added.
Following the issuance of the operating licence for Unit 2, Nawah will undertake a period of commissioning to prepare for the commercial operation where FANR will conduct around-the-clock inspections, using its resident inspectors located at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in addition to deploying other inspectors, to ensure the fuel load and power accession processes are completed according to regulatory requirements.