Barakah unit ready for operation, WANO finds

28 January 2020

A team from the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) has concluded that unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi is ready to start up. The Pre-Start Up Review (PSUR) - a globally recognised nuclear industry assessment conducted in line with international industry standards set by WANO - took place in November.

Mohamed Al Hammadi (fifth from right) and Nawah CEO Mark Reddeman (fourth from right) with the WANO team (Image: ENEC)

The operational readiness assessment was carried out by international experts from WANO's Atlanta Centre who reviewed and examined numerous functional and cross-functional areas that are essential for the safe start-up and operation of the South Korean-designed APR1400 unit. These ranged from operator performance and operations and maintenance, through to work management and emergency preparedness. WANO has now communicated the final results of the PSUR, confirming that Barakah 1 is ready to start up, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said.

ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said the completion of the WANO assessment was a major milestone for the United Arab Emirates' peaceful nuclear energy programme. "It provides international recognition that our plant, people and processes meet international start up standards and that the Barakah plant fully aligns to the commitments made in 2008 by the Nation of complete operational transparency, and the pursuit of the highest standards of safety, quality and security," he said.

International collaboration with nuclear organisations is a central commitment of the UAE's 2008 Policy on the Evaluation and Potential Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy, as an essential component of its commitment to complete operational transparency, as well as the continuous pursuit of the highest standards of safety and security, ENEC said. Both ENEC and Nawah Energy Company - which is to operate the plant - are members of WANO.

Four APR1400 reactors are being built at Barakah, near Ruwais in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, by a consortium led by the Korean Electric Power Company. Unit 1 was completed in March 2018, and Nawah is concluding its final preparations for operational readiness ready for loading the first fuel assemblies into the unit. That is expected to take place during the first quarter of this year, once all requirements have been met and Nawah is in receipt of an operating licence from the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News