The UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has issued licences to transport unirraditated nuclear fuel and to handle and store the fuel at Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in Abu Dhabi.
FANR said in a statement that it approved the issuance of the transport licence and the handling and storage licence to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Nawah Energy Company, respectively.
Christer Viktorsson, director general of FANR said both licence applicants had complied with the "highest international standards of safety, security and safeguards".
Although the operator now has a licence to handle and store fresh nuclear fuel, it will need a FANR licence to operate a nuclear facility in order to load nuclear fuel into Unit 1 at Barakah.
FANR said it is reviewing the application for a licence to operate a nuclear facility, which was submitted by ENEC in March 2015.
FANR issued ENEC with a site selection licence in February 2010, and a construction licence for Units 1 and 2, and for Units 3 and 4 of the Barakah plant in July 2012 and September 2014 respectively. Since 2010, FANR said it has conducted over 120 inspections.
The four units of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant are scheduled for completion in 2020, with construction having started in 2012. With four reactors online, the facility will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs and save up to 12 million tons in carbon emissions every year.
The project at Barakah is progressing steadily. Overall, construction of Units 1 to 4 is now more than 75 percent complete.