The UAE Federal Nuclear Regulatory Authority (FANR) on 11 October approved a licence for generating company Nawah to carry out regulated activities at unit 3 of the Barakah nuclear power plant. This includes the possession, handling, storage and transfer of nuclear materials. The launch of Baraka 3 is scheduled for 2022.
As part of a $ 20 billion agreement announced in 2009, four South Korean APR-1400 reactors are being built at the Baraka NPP by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). The first concrete for unit 1 was poured in July 2012, and for units 2-4 in April 2013, September 2014 and July 2015.
Unit 1 achieved first criticality in August 2020 and was put into commercial operation in April. Unit 2 achieved first criticality at the end of August and was connected to the grid in September. Units 3&4 are in the final stages of commissioning, and are approximately 95% and 91% complete. The construction of the station as a whole is more than 96% complete.
FANR has yet to issue a licence to operate unit 3, after which Nawah can begin loading fuel into the reactor. The power of the reactor will then be increased in stages, and numerous tests will be carried out before the unit reaches full power. Nawah is a joint nuclear power plant operation and maintenance subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and Kepco.
Photo: Two operating units at UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant (Credit: ENEC)