The Federal Nuclear Regulatory Authority, the regulatory body responsible for regulating the nuclear sector in the UAE, announced on Friday the issuance of a license to operate the third unit of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant to Nawah Energy Company, a subsidiary of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of Emirates, which in turn is responsible for the operation of the plant located in the Al Dhafra region in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi.
Under the license, Nawah Energy will be authorized to operate the third unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant for the next 60 years.
The issuance of the operating license comes as a culmination of efforts made by the authority since it received an application for a license from the Nawah Company for the third and fourth units in 2017.
The Authority conducted a systematic review process for the issuance of operating licenses for the third unit after the issuance of operating licenses for the first and second units, which included a thorough evaluation of the documents attached to the application, the application of strict control. measures, in addition to conducting complete inspections of the station.
The assessment process included a review of the design of the nuclear power plant and a geographical and demographic analysis of its location. The evaluation process also included a review of the design of the nuclear reactor, cooling and safety systems, safety measures, emergency preparedness procedures, radioactive waste management and other technical aspects.
The Authority also reviewed the readiness of Nawat Company, as a company responsible for operating in terms of institutional and manpower, and to ensure that all necessary procedures and measures are in place to ensure safety and safety standards at the nuclear power plant.
The authority reviewed the 14,000-page license application for the third and fourth units, and conducted more than 120 inspections and requested additional information for the third unit on a variety of topics, including reactor design, safety and security factors, and other to ensure compliance with all regulatory standards.
On this occasion, Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Authority, said: “Today’s announcement represents an important milestone in United Arab Emirates. road, being the first Arab country to operate a nuclear power plant, and is a culmination of efforts This achievement was achieved thanks to the vision of the UAE and its leadership to build a peaceful nuclear energy program to meet the needs of the country for energy in the future. ”
Al Kaabi added: “The UAE nuclear power program, including nuclear law and regulatory regulations, is in line with the safety standards set by the International Atomic Energy Agency and in line with international best practices, as the authority has been keen to ensure that they are fully respected during the construction process of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. of Atomic Energy, the Republic of Korea and other international regulatory bodies. “
Following the issuance of the operating license for the third unit, Nawah Energy Company will begin the period of preparation for commercial operation, during which FANR will conduct 24-hour inspections, relying on its inspectors residing at the Nuclear Power Plant in Barakah, and sending other inspectors to ensure that loading and fuel tests are carried out in accordance with the requirements.supervision.
“FANR has played a vital role in overseeing the construction and development of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant since 2009, especially after we received an application for a license to operate units 3 and 4 in 2017. We have conducted extensive reviews and inspections. to ensure compliance of the plant with all regulatory requirements and its operation according to the highest levels of safety The Authority has also completed preparations for the start of the operation phase of the third unit, which includes taking the necessary steps to implement the measures to control and carry out the necessary inspections to ensure that the plant operates in accordance with safety standards. ”
To ensure compliance with the highest international safety and security standards in the field of nuclear energy and nuclear non-proliferation, the UAE has undertaken 11 comprehensive assessment missions from the International Atomic Energy Agency over the past decade to review and evaluate aspects of various of nuclear infrastructure, legal and regulatory framework, safety and nuclear safety standards and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the level of state preparedness for emergencies. The public can view these reports issued by those international missions.
It is worth noting that the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Authority issued in February 2020 and March 2021 the operating licenses for the first unit and the second unit, respectively, of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant and continued its supervisory duties until both power plants arrived on the scene. of full commercial operation.
Transparency is also one of the most prominent principles of nuclear policy to which the UAE government has committed itself by adhering to international treaties and agreements such as the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Atomic Energy Agency, Nuclear Safety Agreement and others. Such commitments ensure that the program is designed for peaceful purposes, with a transparent approach in accordance with national and international law.
It should be noted that the UAE is building four units at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant and the project completion rate has reached 97% as follows. in the phase of readiness for operation, and the fourth station 92%.