UAE’s Nuclear Regulatory entity issues Operating License for Unit 3 of Barakah Plant

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant
Representational Image

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, has granted the Operating License for Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant to Nawah Energy Company (Nawah).

Nawah is the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (ENEC) subsidiary responsible for the operation of the nuclear power plant located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi. The license, with an estimated duration of 60 years, authorizes Nawah to commission and operate Unit 3 of the Barakah Plant.

The decision to issue the license is the result of FANR’s efforts since it received the Operating License Application for Units 3 and 4 from Nawah in 2017. Following the issuance of licenses for the first two units, FANR assessed the application for Unit 3 and used a systematic review process that included a stringent study of the application documents, as well as robust regulatory oversight and inspections.

Hamad Al Kaabi
Hamad Al Kaabi
Deputy Chairman
FANR

“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 14 years in building such a program. This milestone was achieved due to the UAE’s vision and its leadership to build a peaceful nuclear energy program to cater for the future needs of energy in the country. The decision announced today follows many years of intensive work and collaboration with national and international stakeholders such as International Atomic Energy Agency, Republic of Korea and other international regulatory bodies.”

FANR reviewed the plant’s layout design and the analysis of the site’s location in terms of geography and demography. The assessment also included;

  • The reactor design
  • cooling systems
  • security arrangements
  • emergency preparedness,
  • radioactive waste management and other technical aspects.

FANR also assessed Nawah’s organizational and manpower readiness with all the required processes and procedures to ensure the safety and security of the nuclear power plant.

“The FANR 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 fulfills our regulatory requirements and thus is ready to operate safely. FANR also prepared for the operations phase which includes putting all arrangements in place to conduct regulatory oversight and necessary inspections to ensure the protection of the community and environment when Unit 3 starts operating,” said Mr. Christer Viktorsson, Director-General of FANR.

Related: UAE’s ENEC & KEPCO explore future cooperation in nuclear sector


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