Unit 3 of UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant receives operating licence
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Unit 3 of UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant receives operating licence

Unit 3 of UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant receives operating licence

The UAE is the first country in the Arab region to operate a nuclear power plant

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The UAE has issued an operating licence for Unit 3 of the Barakah nuclear power plant.

The UAE’s nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) issued the licence for Unit 3 to Nawah Energy Company, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (ENEC) subsidiary, responsible for the operation of the nuclear power plant.

The operating licence, with an estimated duration of 60 years, authorises Nawah to commission and operate Unit 3 of the plant.

FANR conducted the assessment of the application for the Unit 3 and adopted a review process that included an assessment of the application documentation, conducting regulatory oversight and inspections, Abu Dhabi Government Media Office reported. The assessment included reviewing the plant’s layout design and the analysis of the site’s location, as well as included the reactor design, cooling systems, security arrangements, emergency preparedness, radioactive waste management and other technical aspects, a statement said.

Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and deputy chairman of the board of management of the FANR, said, “The UAE Nuclear Energy Programme, including the nuclear law and regulations, conforms to the safety standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the international best practices, where FANR has ensured its implementation during the construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant.

Following the issuance of the license, Nawah will undertake a period of commissioning to prepare for the commercial operation where FANR will conduct inspections to ensure the fuel load and power accession processes are completed according to regulatory requirements.

“The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation played an indispensable role in regulating the Barakah nuclear power plant since 2009 and especially after we received the operating license application for Unit 3 and Unit 4 in 2017. We conducted extensive reviews and robust inspections to ensure it fulfils our regulatory requirements and thus is ready to operate safely. FANR also prepared for the operations phase which include putting all arrangements in place to conduct regulatory oversight and necessary inspections to ensure protection of the community and environment when the unit 3 starts operating,” said Christer Viktorsson, director-general of the FANR.

In February 2020 and March 2021, FANR issued the operating licences for the Unit 1 and Unit 2 respectively of the plant and maintained its regulatory oversight until the commercial operations of the units.

Read: UAE: Unit 2 of Barakah nuclear energy plant starts commercial operations

The UAE is currently building four units at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, and the project’s overall construction rate is 97 per cent. Units 1 and 2 are commercially operational, Unit 3 is in the commissioning phase, while Unit 4 is 92 per cent complete.

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