UAE launches nuclear educational courses

20 July 2023

A Diploma in Nuclear Technology course has been launched by Nawah Energy Company to educate and train UAE National High School graduates to become local operators at the Barakah nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, the UAE has launched its first MSc Programme in Medical Physics.

(Image: ENEC)

Nawah - Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation's (ENEC's) joint venture operating and maintenance subsidiary - said it is committed to Emiratisation as part of its efforts to develop a sustainable nuclear energy industry in the UAE.

The Diploma in Nuclear Technology (DNT) is a 24-month, entry level programme for high-performing students. The programme is aimed to encourage, support and nurture the next generation of UAE Nationals to discover and pursue a career as nuclear professionals, ENEC said. The first intake of high school graduates will begin their training in September and following successful completion of the training and assessment programme, will become local operators at Barakah.

The programme will be delivered at ENEC headquarters and at the Barakah plant, located in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi.

Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of the science and engineering fundamentals and nuclear plant systems required to undertake the local operator roles at Barakah.

"We are committed to operating the Barakah plant according to the highest level of excellence and efficiency, by well-trained operations teams," said Nawah CEO Ali Al Hammadi. "Through the DNT, our trainees will develop knowledge and understanding of nuclear energy and the vital role played by local operators in supporting clean energy generation.

"Equally important to our commitment to safe operations is our commitment to developing our UAE national workforce. This programme is an excellent opportunity for bright young high school graduates to come and receive high-quality training to become part of one of the most important industries for clean electricity generation, which is key to growing the Net Zero economy."

Work to construct four Korean-designed APR-1400 units at Barakah began in 2012. The first three units entered commercial operation in April 2021, March 2022 and February 2023, respectively. The three units at the plant already provide more than 80% of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's clean electricity consumption, and when complete, the four-unit plant is expected to meet up to 25% of the UAE's total electricity demand.

"The Barakah plant will continue to provide highly specialised jobs over its operating lifespan, of at least 60 years, enabling thousands of UAE Nationals to develop long-term careers in the industry," ENEC said.

Khalifa University of Science and Technology and the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) have launched the UAE's first Master of Science Programme in Medical Physics to help establish a trained cadre of medical physicists to contribute to the robust radiation protection infrastructure in the country. The programme will also strengthen their competencies and skills, combined with a planned clinical residency programme.

Developed by Khalifa University, the MSc in Medical Physics programme is one of the outcomes of the UAE National Strategy for Education, Training and Qualification in Radiation Protection. The strategy was developed by the Radiation Protection Committee which is chaired by FANR.

The first cohort of MSc students has already completed their first year and their projects during the year included experiments at the Tawam Hospital in Al Ain and at FANR's Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News