Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant clears operational readiness assessment

ENEC and its subsidiary Nawah have announced that Unit 1 of Abu Dhabi’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is ready to start up

Unit 1 of the UAE's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation / Photograher: Arun Girija
Unit 1 of the UAE's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its subsidiary Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) have announced that Unit 1 of Abu Dhabi’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is ready to start up.

The nuclear energy plant has cleared an extensive operational readiness assessment performed by an international team of nuclear industry experts from the Atlanta Centre of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).

The WANO Pre-start Up Review (PSUR) is a globally-recognised nuclear industry assessment, which is conducted in line with international industry standards set by WANO, of which ENEC and Nawah are both members.

During the PSUR process, WANO teams reviewed and examined functional and cross-functional areas that are essential for the safe start-up and operation of the Unit, ranging from operator performance and operations and maintenance, through to work management and emergency preparedness.

Commenting on the achievement, the chief executive officer of ENEC, Mohamed Al Hammadi, said: “The fact that our first Unit and our team of experts successfully completed this international start up assessment by WANO is a major milestone for the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme.”

Hammadi added: “It provides international recognition that our plant, people, and processes meet international start up standards and that the Barakah plant fully aligns to the commitments made in 2008, by the Nation, for complete operational transparency, and the pursuit of the highest standards of safety, quality and security.

“We take this achievement with great responsibility while we continue to support Nawah in obtaining regulatory approval from FANR to safely and gradually commence producing clean, safe, and reliable electricity to power the growth of the UAE for the next 60 years."

The PSUR also demonstrates the success of Nawah’s ongoing operational readiness activities as it prepares to load the first nuclear fuel assemblies into Unit 1, which is expected to take place in Q1 2020, once all requirements have been met and Nawah is in receipt of the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator.

Once the fuel assemblies are loaded into the reactor, Nawah will begin the start-up sequence for Power Ascension Testing, where operators will safely raise power generation levels over a number of months, prior to commercial operation.

Sharing his thoughts on the accomplishment, the CEO of Nawah Energy Company, Mark Reddemann, said: “As we progress towards the secure and safety-led start-up of Unit 1, we will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure we demonstrate our readiness to receive the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, as we work to pursue the highest standards of operational excellence.”

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