The UAE Nawah Energy Company, the operations and maintenance subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), said on 9 March that it had received the Operating Licence for unit 2 of Barakah NPP from nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The Operating Licence was approved by the FANR Board following rigorous assessments and independent reviews of Nawah’s operational readiness, including the successful completion of a Pre-start Up Review (PSUR) by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), Nawah noted.
To date, FANR has conducted 312 independent inspections since the start of the Barakah Plant’s development. These reviews were conducted alongside more than 42 assessments and peer reviews by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and WANO.
According to Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency and FANR deputy chairman, the review process was exhaustive. “This is the result of intensive work and collaboration with national and international stakeholders such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, Republic of Korea and other international regulatory bodies,” he said.
He added that fuel loading at unit 2 could start very soon, to be followed by a testing programme as the plant gradually increases power in preparation for grid connection. It is scheduled to begin commercial operation in a year. Al Kaabi noted that unit 1 should begin commercial operation soon. In December 2020, Enec said Barakah 1 had achieved 100% of its rated power and commercial operation was scheduled for early 2021.
Construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant began in 2012. Construction of Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages being 93% and 87% complete respectively, benefitting from the experience and lessons learned during the construction of units 1 and 2. Construction of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 95% complete.