Abu Dhabi: Imad Eddin Khalil
The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, 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 for the Nawah Energy Company of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, which in turn is responsible for operating the plant located in the Al Dhafra region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. .
Under the license, Nawah Energy Company has been 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 the efforts made by the authority since it received an application to obtain a license from Nawah for the third and fourth units in 2017.
The authority conducted a systematic review process for the issuance of the operating license for the third unit following the issuance of the operating licenses for the first and second units, which included a comprehensive evaluation of the documents attached to the application, the application of strict control measures, in addition to conducting thorough inspections of the station.
The evaluation process included a review of the design of the nuclear plant, a geographic and demographic analysis of its site with a review of the nuclear reactor design, cooling and safety systems, security measures, emergency preparedness procedures, radioactive waste management, and other technical aspects as well as the readiness of Nawah as the operating company in terms of institutional and strength operating and ensuring that all necessary procedures and measures are in place to ensure safety and security 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 various topics, including reactor design, safety and security factors, and others to ensure compliance with all regulatory standards.
On this occasion, Hamad Ali Al Kaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, said: “Today’s announcement represents a significant milestone in the UAE’s journey, being the first Arab country to operate a nuclear power plant, which is a culmination of the efforts exerted. Over the course of 14 years in building its nuclear energy program, this achievement was achieved thanks to the vision and leadership of the UAE to build a peaceful nuclear energy program to meet the country’s energy needs in the future.”
He added: “The UAE’s nuclear energy program, including the 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. The issuance of the license today is the culmination of the process of cooperation and intensive work between the various concerned parties at the national and international levels, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Republic of Korea and other international regulatory bodies.”
After the issuance of the operating license for the third unit, Nawah Energy Company will begin the period of preparations for commercial operation, during which FANR will conduct round-the-clock inspections, relying on its inspectors residing at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, and dispatching other inspectors to ensure that fuel loading and tests are completed in accordance with the requirements. oversight.
Christer Viktorsen, Director General of FANR, said: “FANR has played a vital role in supervising the construction and development of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant since 2009, especially after we received an application for a license to operate the third and fourth units in 2017. We have conducted extensive reviews and inspections. To ensure that the plant complies with all regulatory requirements, and operates according to the highest levels of safety.. The authority has also completed its preparations to start the operation phase of the third unit, which includes taking the necessary steps to implement control measures and conduct the necessary inspections to ensure that the plant operates in accordance with safety standards.
In order to ensure compliance with the highest international safety and security standards in the field of nuclear energy and the non-proliferation of nuclear energy, the UAE has received during the past decade 11 comprehensive assessment missions from the International Atomic Energy Agency to review and evaluate various aspects of nuclear infrastructure, the legal and regulatory framework, nuclear safety and security standards, nuclear non-proliferation, and the level of nuclear safety and security. The state’s preparedness for emergency situations.. The public can view these reports issued by those international missions.
The total licenses issued by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation in favor of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plants during 13 years amounted to 9 licenses, the first of which was in March 2010. The authority issued a license to select the site for the construction of nuclear plants, followed by a license to prepare the site for the construction of nuclear plants, in July 2010, According to a report issued by the authority, on Friday, entitled “Facts and Figures”, on the sidelines of the announcement of the issuance of a license to operate the third unit of the Barakah reactor.
The report indicated that in July of 2012, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation witnessed the issuance of a license to build the first and second units of the Barakah nuclear plant, while the building permit for the third and fourth units of the Barakah plant and related regulatory activities was issued in July of 2014.
In January 2017, FANR issued a license to deal with and store nuclear fuel, while February 2020 recorded the issuance of a license to operate the first unit of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant for a period of up to 60 years.
In March of 2021, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation issued a license to operate the second unit of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant for a period of up to 60 years, and on the seventeenth of June 2022, it was announced that the license to operate the third unit of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant for a period of up to 60 years had been issued. The authority also announced that it would issue a license to shut down the reactor and dismantle the nuclear facility in 2080.
In its report, the authority reviewed the details of the application for a license to operate the third unit of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, noting that in 2017, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation submitted an application for a license to operate the third and fourth units of the Barakah plant to the authority, where the authority conducted evaluations to request a license for the third unit Following the issuance of operating licenses for the first and second units.
The “Facts and Figures” report showed that the authority conducted more than 120 inspections and requested additional information for the third unit as part of its review of the 14,000-page application (the third and fourth units), while the process of evaluating the license application was carried out by a team consisting of 70% of specialized Emirati experts. in nuclear energy.
The authority also reviewed the operating license, which included the following components: plant design scheme, plant location (geographical and demographic characteristics), reactor design (fuel, control and cooling systems), safety systems, radioactive waste management, physical protection, non-proliferation, emergency preparedness and a system Response, regulatory readiness, decommissioning and decommissioning plan, capacity building.
The report noted that the authority received 11 international review missions under the leadership of the International Atomic Energy Agency. These missions included nuclear infrastructure, legal and regulatory regulations, nuclear safety, nuclear security, nonproliferation, and emergency preparedness.
The report stated that the UAE has signed more than 13 international agreements and treaties, including: the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Additional Protocol to the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Nuclear Safety Treaty, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty .
peaceful nuclear program.
The report provided an overview of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear program, noting that in 2008 the UAE issued the document “The UAE’s Policy for Evaluating and Possibility of Developing a Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program in the State”. The document focused on six main points: full operational transparency, adherence to the highest standards of nuclear non-proliferation, consolidation of the highest standards of safety and security, direct coordination with the International Atomic Energy Agency and adherence to its standards, building strong partnerships with responsible countries and experienced institutions, ensuring the sustainability of nuclear energy on Long-term.
Suhail Al Mazrouei: An achievement that embodies the vision of the rational leadership
Suhail bin Muhammad Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, confirmed that the issuance of the license to operate the third unit of the Barakah Peaceful Nuclear Energy Plant is a new achievement added to the list of achievements made by the UAE in the field of diversifying energy sources, in terms of the ability to secure a large part of its electrical energy needs from sources Carbon free.
In statements on this occasion, he said that Barakah Station embodies the vision of the rational leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, may God protect him, and his brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and their Highnesses Sheikhs Members of the Federal Supreme Council, rulers of the Emirates, adopt sustainable development that is consistent with the goals of the future and the fifty principles. (wam)