First fuel licences for Barakah

23 January 2017

The Barakah nuclear power plant has received licences to transport, handle and store nuclear fuel from the United Arab Emirates' Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The licences are a milestone towards the loading of fuel into the country's first nuclear power plant.

FANR announces the fuel licences (Image: FANR)

FANR announced yesterday the issuance of two licences: the first to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) for the transport of unirradiated nuclear fuel to the Barakah plant, and the second to the Nawah Energy Company, which will operate the plant, for the handling and storage of such fuel at Barakah unit 1.

FANR's board of management approved issuance of the licences in mid-December after completing assessments and readiness inspections to ensure the licence applications met the regulator's safety, security and safeguards requirements.

FANR director general Christer Viktorsson said regulatory staff had worked "laboriously" throughout the licensing review to ensure compliance with both FANR regulations and international standards.

Barakah 1 is due to start up later this year. Although operator Nawah is now licensed to handle and store fresh nuclear fuel, it will need an operating licence from FANR before fuel can be loaded into the unit. The regulator is reviewing the operating licence application Enec submitted in March 2015, prior to its announcement in May last year of the formation of Nawah to operate and maintain the Barakah units.

Four Korean-designed APR1400 reactors are under construction at Barakah, in western Abu Dhabi. Construction began on the first unit in 2012, and the four-unit plant is now around 75% complete. The plant is being built for Enec by a consortium led by the Korean Electric Power Company. Fuel for the units is being manufactured by Kepco Nuclear Fuels, which is part of the prime contractor consortium. 

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News