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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 August 2018

UAE nuclear plant receives licence from Department of Energy

DoE licence is a major regulatory step for the project 

Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will begin operation in late 2019 or 2020, Nawah Energy Company has said. Arun Girija / AFP
Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will begin operation in late 2019 or 2020, Nawah Energy Company has said. Arun Girija / AFP

The UAE’s first nuclear plant has received an electricity generation licence from the emirate's Department of Energy, reaching a major regulatory milestone before it can begin operations and start producing power.

Barakah One Company, a joint venture between Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and the Korea Electric Power Corporation representing the commercial and financial interests of the project, was granted the licence recently, state news agency Wam reported on Wednesday.

The license is a first step toward starting up the first of four reactors being built in Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.

Nawah Energy Company, Enec and Kepco’s operating and maintenance subsidiary, also needs to obtain an operating license from the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, which regulates the industry according to international standards, to get the go-ahead for startup.

The plant will not begin generating electricity until the end of next year, or possibly even 2020, Nawah said in May after a “comprehensive operational readiness review”.

The Barakah nuclear energy plant has reached an advanced stage, with the completion of the first reactor announced earlier this year. Construction of the $25 billion project began in 2011.

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Read more:

UAE's first nuclear power plant delayed until late 2019 or 2020

Handover of Barakah nuclear plant to operator 'almost complete'

Special report: Power for the people

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"Barakah One Company has demonstrated its commitment to all requirements,” Awaidha Al Marar, the DoE chairman, was quoted as saying by Wam.

"One of the strategic objectives of the DoE is to guarantee energy security and sufficient supplies of energy, thus we look forward to strengthening our cooperation with Enec and its subsidiaries ….. to meet the economic aspirations and needs of coming generations."

The UAE is the first country in the region to have undertaken the project of generating electricity from nuclear energy -- one of the best solutions for the production of clean and efficient power to support UAE’s economic growth and diversification.

The UAE is boosting its power generation from renewables and clean energy sources to help free up the usage of gas, which is also heavily consumed by the industrial and other sectors.

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