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Sat 13 Jul 2019 12:40 AM

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First Emirati nuclear operators certified ahead of Abu Dhabi plant launch

Certification is a key requirement for future receipt of the operating licence of the UAE's first nuclear power plant

First Emirati nuclear operators certified ahead of Abu Dhabi plant launch

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s nuclear regulator, has officially certified the first group of 15 Emirati reactor operators at Nawah Energy Company, the operations and maintenance subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC).

The certification is a key requirement for future receipt of the operating licence of the UAE's first nuclear power plant which is expected to start operating early next year. 

A reactor operator is responsible for operating and managing the main control room of a nuclear energy plant during regular operations and emergencies.

Senior operators manage the control room and supervise the reactor operators and field operators to ensure adherence to high standards of nuclear safety, a statement said.

“This is a major milestone for the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. Investing in building Emirati nuclear expertise is pivotal for the sustainability of the UAE peaceful nuclear energy program to attain the nation’s ambitious goals,” said Christer Viktorsson, director-general of FANR.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO, ENEC, added: “The UAE peaceful nuclear energy program is creating new, high value job opportunities that will play a significant role in diversifying the UAE’s economy and supporting sustainable economic development for decades to come.”

Mark Reddemann, CEO, Nawah, said: “Today is an important milestone for Nawah as we continue with our operational readiness program, in advance of the Fuel Load of the first unit of the Barakah plant.”

The first group took part in a three-year training program developed by ENEC and Nawah, according to the regulations set out by FANR.

ENEC is developing four nuclear energy units at Barakah in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, the first nuclear energy plant in the Arab world.

As of the end of March, the overall construction completion rate of the four units is more than 93 percent. Unit 1 construction is complete and the unit is currently undergoing commissioning and testing, prior to receipt of the operating licence from FANR.

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