A momentous chapter in UAE’s N-programme - GulfToday

A momentous chapter in UAE’s N-programme

Barakah Nuclear Power Plant

Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.

The granting of the operating licence for Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant to the Nawah Energy Company by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, is a huge national achievement.

This is especially so because the UAE has now become the first country in the entire Arab region to operate a nuclear power plant which will deliver safe and clean nuclear energy.

Nawah Energy Company is a subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC and is responsible for the operation and maintenance of nuclear energy plants in the UAE.

At a time when the need for clean energy is felt across the globe, the UAE’s model for sustaining a green economy based on environmental sustainability is a trendsetter.

The benefit will be immense because after it’s fully operational, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant’s four Units will prevent the release of 21 million tonnes of harmful carbon emissions every year, equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars from the country’s roads on an annual basis.

The plant’s four APR-1400 design nuclear reactors will also supply up to 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs in compliance with the highest standards of safety, security and operational performance.

The UAE is currently building four units at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, and the project’s overall construction rate is more than 93 per cent as follows: Unit 1: completed; Unit 2: 95 per cent; Unit 3: 92 per cent; Unit 4: 83 per cent.

Adding to the delight is the fact that Emirati citizens account for 60 per cent of the employees in ENEC and its subsidiary companies, and the total number of reactor operators is 72, including 42 Emirati ROs and SROs.

This strongly highlights the contributions of the Emirati people to the nation’s development and their efforts to elevate its stature among nations.

As Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and Deputy Chairman of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation pointed out, Monday’s announcement is another milestone for the UAE, culminating efforts of 12 years towards the development of the UAE Nuclear Energy Programme to which FANR played a significant role to turn this vision into reality.

Hamad Al Kaabi had mentioned earlier that the UAE is strictly committed to its nuclear policy principles of transparency, safety and security, sustainability and international cooperation to ensure that its Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme is developed in line with the highest standards.

It should be noted that during the previous decade, the UAE welcomed 11 comprehensive assessment missions from the IAEA to review and assess its infrastructure and legal and organisational frameworks, as well as its nuclear safety and security standards, and its preparedness for emergency and non-proliferation situations.

The UAE has signed over 13 related international treaties, including the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, the Additional Protocol to the IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement, the Convention on Nuclear Safety, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, as well as the US–UAE 123 Agreement for Peaceful Civilian Nuclear Energy Cooperation.

There can be no doubt that the programme is safe and secure. The UAE’s Peaceful Nuclear Energy programme is rightly being recognised as a role model for the development of a new civil nuclear energy programme and a global benchmark for new nuclear energy projects.

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