The United Arab Emirates' Department of Energy granted an electricity generation license on Wednesday for the country's first nuclear power plant (NPP), Barakah.
According to U.A.E.’s new agency WAM, the license was granted to Barakah One Company, a joint venture between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), which was formed in 2016 to represent the commercial and financial interests of the Barakah project.
The license is a key regulatory requirement before the start-up of the Barakah power plant, located on the Persian Gulf coastline in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.
The issuance of the license is also a significant milestone in the project as it is also one of the requirements that must be met before the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation can issue an operating license for the plant.
The plant plans to have four reactors with 1,400 megawatts of power capacity. Start-up of its first reactor is scheduled at the latest in 2020.
The four reactors will supply up to 25 percent of the U.A.E.’s electricity needs and save up to 21 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA).
"Barakah One Company has demonstrated its commitment to all requirements, which reflects the completion of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in line with the highest standards of safety, security, quality and transparency," said Awaidha Murshed Al Marar, the Department of Energy chairman.
He also added that the license is the first of its kind in the region that will ultimately allow the company to generate electricity from peaceful nuclear energy.
Nawah Energy Company, the operating and maintenance subsidiary of Enec and Kepco, also needs to obtain an operating license from the country’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.
By Firdevs Yuksel