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Barakah Nuclear Power Plant’s Unit 1 to begin operations

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, today announced it has granted Nawah Energy Company the operating licence for Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, making the UAE the first country in the Arab region to operate a nuclear power plant.

In a press conference in Abu Dhabi today, FANR said it also authorised Nawah to commission and operate Unit 1 of the nuclear power plant located in Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi, under a 60-year licence.

Nawah is the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s subsidiary responsible for operation of the nuclear power plant.

The decision to issue the operating licence is a culmination of efforts made by FANR since it received an operating licence application from ENEC, on behalf of Nawah, in 2015. FANR followed a systematic review process that included a thorough assessment of the application documentation, conducting robust regulatory oversight and inspections.

The assessment included reviewing the plant’s layout design and the analysis of the site’s location in terms of geography and demography. It also included the reactor design, cooling systems, security arrangements, emergency preparedness, radioactive waste management and other technical aspects.

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

The UAE’s independent nuclear regulator reviewed the 14,000-page operating licence application, conducted more than 185 inspections and requested approximately 2,000 additional pieces of information 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.

“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.