The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has approved the formation of Nawah Energy Company to operate and maintain Barakah units 1-4. Separately, an agreement with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will give the United Arab Emirates access to software tools to assist in radiation protection and assessment.
Enec's board of directors yesterday mandated the company's management to proceed with the formation of the operating company. Nawah will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enec.
"Nawah aims to become a globally recognized nuclear utility in the safe operation of nuclear energy plants," Enec said.
The launch of Nawah will allow Enec to focus on strategic issues related to the UAE's nuclear energy program, it said, with a special focus on guaranteeing project delivery of the Barakah plants and supporting and developing the country's nuclear industry. Enec will also continue to represent the interests of the Abu Dhabi government in the UAE's energy program.
The UAE is building four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurized water reactors at Barakah, about 80 km west of the town of Ruwais. Barakah 1, which began construction in 2012, is now over 87% complete, with a start-up target date of 2017. Construction began on unit 2 in 2013, and is now over 68% complete, while work began on units 3 and 4 in 2014 and 2015, respectively. All four units should be in operation by 2020.
Regulatory agreement signed
An agreement signed by the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and the US NRC will give the UAE access to a family of radiation protection and software tools for improving and ensuring the safety of radioactive materials. FANR said the agreement for cooperative research would also benefit related UAE government and academic entities.
Under the agreement, FANR and other UAE entities will be able to access the Radiation Protection Computer Code Analysis and Maintenance Program (RAMP) - a set of computer codes that enable analysts to assess radiation releases and exposures that might occur due to a nuclear accident or emergency.
FANR director general Christer Viktorsson said that it was essential for the nation to be prepared for any incident or emergency, however unlikely. "Using the RAMP tools will allow Emirati agencies to employ state-of-the-art assessment tools," he said.
FANR said that the three-year agreement was signed in March.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News