WANO team confirms Barakah Unit 1 readiness for start up

ENEC barakahAn extensive operational readiness assessment performed by an international team of nuclear industry experts from the Atlanta Center of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) has concluded that Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi is ready to start up

This has been announced by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its subsidiary Nawah Energy Company (Nawah).

The WANO Pre-start Up Review (PSUR) is a globally-recognised nuclear industry assessment which is conducted in line with the international industry standards set by WANO, of which ENEC and Nawah are both members.

During the PSUR process, which took place in November 2019, WANO teams reviewed and examined numerous functional and cross-functional areas that are essential for the safe start-up and operation of the Unit, ranging from operator performance and operations and maintenance, through to work management and emergency preparedness. The final results of the PSUR were recently communicated by WANO Atlanta Center representatives, which confirmed that Unit 1 of the Barakah plant is ready to start up.

The WANO PSUR comes after a series of assessments carried out by several national and international regulatory organisations during the past years. International collaboration with nuclear organisations is a central commitment of the 2008 Policy of the UAE on the Evaluation and Potential Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC CEO, said, “It provides international recognition that our plant, people and processes meet international startup standards and that the Barakah plant fully aligns to the commitments made in 2008 by the Nation of complete operational transparency, and the pursuit of the highest standards of safety, quality and security.”

The PSUR is the culmination of more than 30 support missions and peer reviews by WANO and reflects Nawah’s strong Culture of Safety and commitment to upholding the highest international standards of safety, security, quality and transparency.

It demonstrates the success of Nawah’s ongoing operational readiness activities as it prepares to load the first nuclear fuel assemblies into Unit 1, which is expected to take place in Q1 2020, once all requirements have been met and Nawah is in receipt of the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator.

Mark Reddemann, CEO of Nawah Energy Company, commented, “As we progress towards the secure and safety-led start-up of Unit 1, we will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure we demonstrate our readiness to receive the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, as we work to pursue the highest standards of operational excellence.”

Nawah is concluding the final requirements to demonstrate operational readiness in preparation to receive the Operating License from FANR, prior to commencing the loading of the first fuel assemblies safely into Unit 1 of the Barakah plant, scheduled for the Q1 2020.

Once the fuel assemblies are loaded into the reactor, Nawah will begin the start-up sequence for Power Ascension Testing, where operators will safely raise power generation levels over a number of months, prior to commercial operation.

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