Regulator Balks On Issuing License For Barakah NPP

With the first unit of the four-reactor Barakah nuclear power plant completed, the United Arab Emirates nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), said Tuesday that the plant operator was still not ready to receive an operating license.

Barakah NPPFANR already balked on issuing the joint venture Nawah a license last year, saying the operator was not ready to take control of the power plant. Nawah is a joint venture between the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Company (ENEC).

FANR Director-Genaral Christer Viktorsson explained to reporters that it was a “very complex process,” adding, “the organizational aspect is more important than the technical aspect.”

He also said that he did not know when Nawah would be ready for a license with some reports, including a Reuter's report, indicating that the operator might not be ready this year.

Unit One at the plant is complete, while the second, third and fourth units at the plant are 86 percent, 76 percent and 54 percent completed. All four units are expected to be operational by 2020, according to the company's expectations.

The plant will consist of four APR-1000 KEPCO constructed reactors. As the first commercial nuclear power plant in the region, they are expected to supply the UAE with a fourth of its electricity needs.

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