By Courtney Trenwith
The two state-of-the-art facilities are identical to the four nuclear plants the UAE expects to open in 2017-2020
The first nuclear reactor simulators in the UAE have been inaugurated three years ahead of the expected completion of the country’s first nuclear facilities.
The Simulator Training Centre at Barakah in Abu Dhabi’s Western Region, the site of the country’s four planned nuclear reactors, is the first of its kind in the region and has among the world’s most advanced nuclear training devices, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said in a statement on Tuesday.
The UAE’s first two reactors are more than 40 percent complete and due to come into operation in 2017 and 2018, respectively.
The third and fourth reactors are due to begin commercial operations in 2019 and 2020, when the UAE expects the four plants to produce 5600MW of clean electricity to meet up to a quarter of the country’s energy needs.
ENEC said the training centre had two APR1400 simulators identical to the plant’s main control room and five operator stations with access to the plant’s entire network.
The set-up replicates the actual conditions and environment that the reactor operators would experience in a real-time situation and would allow students to experience responding to accident situations.
“Safety is and will remain our main priority and highly trained and prepared reactor operators are critical to the safety of our plants,” ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said.
“Our state-of-the-art simulators are designed to replicate real scenarios and processes that our reactor operators will face every day. This form of training has been proven to be a reliable and successful training method in some of the most advanced industries worldwide.
“Real-time control room simulators have a proven track record of developing user soft skills such as communication, the ability to respond efficiently, solid decision making and working as part of a team. They play a key role in the development of a nuclear safety culture.”
Every student reactor operator will complete at least 2000 hours of training before being licensed by the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.For all the latest energy and oil news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.