FANR certifies ENEC’s first group of UAE nuclear reactor operators

fanr enecThe Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s nuclear regulator, has certified the first group of 15 UAE national senior reactor operators (SROs) and reactor operators (ROs) at Nawah Energy Company, the operations and maintenance subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)

The certification is part of complying with FANR’s Regulation 17 ‘Regulation for the Certification of Operating Personnel at Nuclear Facilities’ that dictates requirements for the training and qualification of SROs and ROs and ensures their competence to operate the nuclear energy plant.

The certification of SROs and ROs is a crucial requirement for future receipt of the operating license.

A reactor operator is responsible for operating and managing the main control room (MCR) of a nuclear energy plant during regular operations and emergencies including starting up a nuclear reactor, shutting down a nuclear reactor and monitoring reactor parameters.

The SROs manage the control room and supervise the ROs and field operators to ensure adherence to high standards of nuclear safety in order to protect the health and safety of the public, optimising energy generation for the UAE grid.

“Investing in building Emirati nuclear expertise is pivotal for the sustainability of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme to attain the nation’s ambitious goals. FANR has played a critical role to certify the reactor operators and verifying their competence and readiness to operate the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in accordance with the highest standards of safety to ensure the protection of the public and the environment,” said Christer Viktorsson, director-general of FANR.

“The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme is creating new, high-value job opportunities that will play a significant role in diversifying the UAE’s economy and supporting sustainable economic development for decades to come.”

Mark Reddemann, CEO at Nawah, added, “The training and education that the operators have received is of the highest international standard and supports our objectives of ensuring a world-class, safety and quality led approach towards operations at Barakah.”

The first group took part in a three-year training programme developed by ENEC and Nawah, according to the regulations set out by FANR. The training programme combines hands-on experience from some of the industry’s leading engineering and nuclear energy experts with a discipline-focused curriculum, to ensure the students enter the UAE’s nuclear energy industry with world-class training. The first group of SROs and ROs had the opportunity to train in the Republic of Korea, the USA, South Africa and the UAE.

Throughout the programme, FANR verified and inspected the training programme, from curriculum content through to training implementation and exam administration, ensuring that it met regulatory requirements. After obtaining the certification, FANR will verify Nawah’s refresher training programme every two years, which will include provisions for periodic confirmation of an operator’s competency in line with the regulatory requirements for the safe and secure operation of the nuclear energy plant and protection of the public and the environment.

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