Barakah One Company, the joint venture that will operate the four-unit Barakah nuclear plant in the United Arab Emirates, has received its electricity generation license for Unit 1 from the Department of Energy.
Completed in March, the reactor is the first of two necessary licenses for the plant to begin operations, the second being the operations license itself.
The reactor is expected to begin operations in late 2019 or early 2020 as the first of four Korean-built APR-1400 units in the Dhafra region of Abu Dhabai that represent the first domestic nuclear power plant in the region.
Barakah One Company is a joint venture formed by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, owners of the plant, and the Korea Electric Power Company, the plant's builder, in 2016 as a legal and regulatory representative of the project. The plant, meanwhile, will be operated by Nawah, which is s subsidiary of both the owner and the builder, according to the World Nuclear Association.
Among the regulatory issues that are currently being addressed – the cause of two announced delays in plant operations – is the need to have fully trained Nawah technicians ready to take over operations of a nuclear power plant, a task Enec has named as a focus of concern. Training involves comprehensive plant operations study, including a trip to an operating plant overseas. To date 195 nuclear technology students have completed a curriculum of nuclear power studies at various colleges in Abu Dhabi, Pennsylvania, Texas and North Carolina, the WNA said.
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