Agreement assures Korean expert support for UAE plant operations

25 July 2016

Nuclear experts from Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) will support operations at the United Arab Emirates' Barakah nuclear power plant through its first decade under an Operating Support Services Agreement (OSSA) signed by KHNP and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec).

KHNP CEO Seok Cho and Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi at the OSSA signing ceremony at Enec's Abu Dhabi headquarters (Image: Enec)

The OSSA will see KHNP send experienced and qualified nuclear plant personnel including main control room operators and local operators to support Enec's operating subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company. Under the agreement, 400 KHNP experts will support operations at the UAE site until 2030 - ten years after Barakah's fourth unit is completed.

The KHNP experts must be licensed by the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) - including passing regulatory exams - before they are permitted to operate and manage nuclear technology in the UAE.

Four Korean-designed APR1400 reactors are under construction at Barakah, about 50 km from the town of Ruwais, by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation. When complete, the UAE's first nuclear power plant will provide up to a quarter of the country's electricity.

Al Hammadi said the OSSA provided the framework for KHNP to share knowledge accumulated throughout its 40 years of experience in operating 25 nuclear power plants in South Korea. "We are entering a crucial phase in the development of the Barakah plant and we are looking forward to working with the experts from KHNP to ensure the operational readiness of the Barakah plant," he said. "Over the next decade and beyond, the agreement will continue to build on and enhance the existing long-term nuclear energy partnership between the UAE and South Korea," he added.

The first AP1400 reactor, unit 3 at KHNP's Shin Kori site in South Korea, reached first criticality in December 2015 and was connected to the grid in January. A second unit, Shin Kori 4, is expected to start operating in early 2017, and two further AP1400s are under construction at Shin Hanul. South Korean regulators recently approved the construction of two further AP1400 units at Shin Kori. Two further units also planned for construction at Shin Hanul.

Construction began at Barakah in 2012. Barakah 1 is scheduled to start up in 2017, with the other units following at yearly intervals.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News