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UAE set to issue operating licence for first ever nuclear reactor in the GCC

by Baset Asaba on Feb 1, 2018




The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is warming up to the GCC’s first ever nuclear power plant as construction work on the first of four nuclear reactors reaches full completion.

The nuclear power plant, which will be operated by Nawah Energy Company, is scheduled to start operations this year with the opening of its first nuclear reactor.

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), which is the nuclear regulatory body, is now reviewing the operating license application made by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation on behalf of Nawah Energy Company to operate Units 1 and 2 of the plant.

FANR is tasked with overseeing and granting permission for the project to operate after all regulatory procedures have measured up to the set benchmark.

"The nuclear reactor is almost technically ready," Christer Viktorsson, Director General, FANR told a media briefing.  “The licence will be granted after all regulatory requirements have been met to guarantee the highest levels of safety and security for the reactor.”

He said that FANR would now wait for a confirmation from Nawah regarding its preparedness to commence operations at Unit 1.

A draft licence will then be submitted to FANR for approval to authorise operations.

Last year, FANR conducted more than 40 inspections related to the nuclear plant.

The inspections included verification of the licensee's operator training and certification programme and organisational readiness for Unit 1 operations, cyber security, nuclear fuel storage as well as other requirements.

FANR has been continuously monitoring the radioactivity levels in the UAE environment through its laboratory at Khalifa University and through its radioactivity monitoring stations in various locations across the country.

Viktorsson noted that FANR will also start reviewing the licence for Units 3 and 4 after they approve the final licensing for Unit 1.


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