Nawah prepares to welcome IAEA safety team at Barakah nuclear site

Experts to conduct a full safety review of operations at Unit 1 reactor

17:17 August 1, 2017

Abu Dhabi: Nawah Energy Company on Tuesday announced that it had started arrangements to welcome the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) pre-operational safety review team to Unit 1 reactor at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, as the UAE moves closer towards its goal of generating nuclear energy.

As part of the IAEA’s mission, teams of international experts will visit the nuclear reactor conducting a full operational safety review of the site, with the inspection ensuring that the nuclear plant is ready for operations.

In other key developments, Nawah also said that it had submitted the Operation Licence Application for Unit 3 and Unit 4 reactors to the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The submitted application included more than 15,000 pages and documents detailing the planned operations and safety regulations at the reactors.

“Nawah Energy Company had vowed to be recognised as a top nuclear plant operator and to follow the highest international standards of safety, quality and security,” Mohammad Sahoo Al Suwaidi, acting chief executive officer of Nawah Energy Company, said explaining the latest developments.

“There is a great progress made by Nawah with its commitment to safety as it progresses towards its target of loading fuel in Unit 1 at Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in 2018,” he added, explaining that Unit 1 reactor was scheduled for operations as planned.

Al Suwaidi also highlighted that its operations were progressing in other key areas including the development of local specialised experts.

“Nawah is making good progress from all perspectives of the operational readiness programme, including recruitment and training of resources, development of procedures and operating crew proficiency. We are also focusing on developing the next generation of leaders for the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy programme,” he said.

The world’s biggest nuclear construction project, when complete, the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant will supply a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs. All four reactors of the nuclear plant are expected to become fully operational by 2020. Unit 1 reactor is scheduled to go online next year. Unit 2 is now 84 per cent complete, Unit 3 73 per cent and Unit 4 49 per cent complete.

On top of providing a new source of energy for the country, the use of nuclear power will also save 21 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere annually, making the project a sound environmental one.