UAE sets up operating company for Barakah NPP

30 May 2016

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) board of directors on 17 May approved the formation of Nawah Energy Company to operate and maintain units 1-4 at the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) Barakah NPP. Nawah, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enec, "aims to become a globally recognized nuclear utility in the safe operation of nuclear energy plants," Enec said. This will allow Enec to focus on strategic issues related to the UAE's nuclear energy program, it said, with a special focus on guaranteeing project delivery of the Barakah plants and supporting and developing the country's nuclear industry. Enec will also continue to represent the interests of the Abu Dhabi government in the UAE's energy programme.

A South Korean consortium is building four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurized water reactors at Barakah. Unit 1, which began construction in 2012, is now over 87% complete, with a start-up target date of 2017. Construction began on unit 2 in 2013, and is now over 68% complete, while work began on units 3 and 4 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. All four units should be in operation by 2020.

Meanwhile, a three-year agreement has been signed by the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which will give the UAE access to radiation protection and software tools to improve and ensure the safety of radioactive materials. FANR and other UAE entities will be able to access the Radiation Protection Computer Code Analysis and Maintenance Program (RAMP) - a set of computer codes that enable analysts to assess radiation releases and exposures that might occur due to a nuclear accident or emergency.

UK-based Atkins is working with EDF to launch a nuclear training academy in the UAE. The academy will "support the development of nuclear safety leadership and culture training", the engineering company said today. Atkins is assisting EDF Energy "to export their knowledge and skills in a commercial environment, internationally, for the first time".

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