The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) confirmed Friday the start-up of the first reactor at the Barakah nuclear power plant would be put off for a year due to the lack of an operating license.
A joint ENEC-KEPCO venture is in line to operate the plant, but has not yet received an operating license from the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), Reuters reported.
The delay would allow time for an international assessment of the plant, operating personnel and the country's regulatory framework. ENEC released a statement that announced “an extension for the start-up of nuclear operations for Unit 1, from 2017 to 2018, to ensure sufficient time for international assessments and adherence to nuclear industry safety standards, as well as a reinforcement of operational proficiency for plant personnel.”
International Atomic Energy Agency and World Association of Nuclear Operators assessments will be forthcoming. “These assessments will take place before we anticipate being granted our operating license and begin the process of loading fuel,” said Mohammed Sahoo AlSuwaidi, interim chief executive officer of the utility Nawah.
“We recognize the scale of both our responsibilities and of the challenges that lie ahead of us,” he said.
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