Nawah, the operator of the unfinished four-unit Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, said Tuesday that startup of the first unit at the plant – the first nuclear power plant in the region – would be delayed again due to issues related to its “readiness” to operate the facility.
“The results of Nawah's review forecast that the loading of nuclear fuel assemblies required to commence nuclear operations at Barakah Unit 1 will occur between the end of 2019 and early 2020. The resulting projection for the startup of Unit 1 operations reflects the time required for the plant's nuclear operators to complete operational readiness activities and to obtain necessary regulatory approvals,” the company said in a statement.
Nawah was established in 2016 to run the plant that is being built by a coalition led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation. With construction begun in 2012, Unit 1 is now considered 100 percent completed with a ceremony celebrating completion of the 1400 MWe reactor held in March of this year. Initially, the unit was expected to be operational by 2017. However, a year ago, a delay in startup was announced due to the lack of an operational license. Another delay was announced in March this year in order to continue training staff on plant operations.
Owner of the plant Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation submitted the application for a permit from the country's regulator the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) to startup Units 1 and 2 in 2015, according to Nuclear Engineering International.
Meanwhile, Units 2, 3 and 4 are considered 92 percent, 81 percent and 67 percent completed, respectively. The dome was set in place for Unit 4 in April of this year.
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