Image Courtesy: Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation
The UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant has been given the licence to operate, official news agency WAM reported.
The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) – the country’s nuclear regulator – has authorised Nawah Energy Company to commission and operate Unit 1 of the nuclear power plant, a statement said.
The move makes the UAE the first Arab country to operate a nuclear power plant.
Nawah, which has been granted a 60-year licence, is the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (ENEC) subsidiary responsible for the operation of the nuclear power plant.
The licence was granted post a systematic process spanning a review of the 14,000-page application documentation as well as over 185 inspections.
The assessment entailed a review of the plant’s layout design and an analysis of the site in terms of its geography and demography. It also entailed assessing the reactor design, cooling systems, security arrangements, emergency preparedness, radioactive waste management and other technical aspects, the statement said.
“Today’s announcement is another milestone for the UAE, culminating efforts of 12 years towards the development of the UAE Nuclear Energy Programme to which FANR played a significant role to turn this vision into reality,” said Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and deputy chairman of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.
The Barakah nuclear energy plant, located in Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi, hosts four APR1400 design nuclear reactors, and will fulfil up to 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs once fully operational, according to ENEC’s website.