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UAE Barakah Nuclear Power Plant Receives Operating License

The operational licence for the fourth and final reactor of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant has been awarded by the UAE's FANR.

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) in the UAE has granted the operating license for the fourth and final reactor of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, located in Al Dhafra region, Abu Dhabi.

FANR, the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, issued the operating license for Unit 4 to Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), responsible for the plant’s operation. The 60-year license authorizes Nawah to commission and operate the unit.

Historical Achievement and Vision Realization:

Hamad Al Kaabi, UAE’s Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and deputy chairman of FANR hailed the moment as historic, realizing the UAE’s vision set 15 years ago to develop the region’s first peaceful nuclear energy program.

In recent years, FANR issued operating licenses for all the 3 Units in February 2020, March 2021, and June 2022, respectively. 

The regulatory oversight will continue throughout the operational period of all four units. Unit 3 commenced commercial operations in February of the current year.

UAE’s Nuclear Role in Clean Energy Goals:

Al Kaabi emphasized the pivotal role of the UAE Nuclear Programme in providing 25% of clean energy, aligning with the government’s efforts to achieve its 2050 Net Zero Goals. 

The program is positioned to contribute significantly to the nation’s sustainable energy objectives.

The announcement reflects FANR’s dedicated efforts since receiving Nawah’s operating license application in 2017. 

The regulator conducted a meticulous assessment, ensuring compliance with international nuclear safety, security, and non-proliferation standards.

Emirati Expertise and Regulatory Success:

Al Kaabi highlighted the success of FANR’s strategy in building Emirati capability, with 90% of the team conducting the Unit 4 license review comprising Emirati nuclear experts. 

The achievement underscores the commitment to developing local expertise for effective nuclear sector regulation.

The UAE’s ability to implement the nuclear program within a record time frame while adhering to international standards has positioned the country as a role model. 

The FANR received 12 major peer review missions from the IAEA in the past decade, ensuring the highest international nuclear safety, security, and non-proliferation norms. 

Reports from these missions are publicly available, affirming transparency and adherence to best practices.

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