New Projects, Reactors

Nuclear power plant project in UAE receives regulatory approval

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on July 17 approved the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp.’s (ENEC) license for the construction of Units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Facility and related regulated activities. The announcement was made during a July 18 press conference in Abu Dhabi.

The license authorizes ENEC to construct two Korean-design advanced, 1,400 MW APR1400 pressurized water reactors at the Barakah site in the Western Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate. The license does not allow ENEC to operate the reactors and ENEC must apply to FANR for a separate operating license.

“The issuance of a construction license is a significant milestone in the UAE’s nuclear energy program,” said H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Mazrouei, chairman of the FANR Board of Management.

The FANR review of ENEC’s application was carried out by more than 200 technical experts and has been on-going since December 2010. The license also incorporated an additional assessment by ENEC of the lessons learned from the March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The post-Fukushima assessment was requested and reviewed by FANR and resulted in a number of design enhancements for added safety, the regulators said.

“We are now mobilizing our team to move ahead with the next phase of activity under our new license, which starts with pouring the safety concrete for Barakah Unit 1,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of ENEC. “This will mark another major achievement for ENEC’s program in our mission to deliver safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE by 2017.”

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