UAE: Authority to issue license for third reactor at Barakah nuclear power plant

This comes in line with the country's Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative to produce clean energy


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 23 Feb 2022, 2:20 PM

Last updated: Thu 24 Feb 2022, 3:48 PM

The UAE's third nuclear reactor's operating license will be issued this year as the country seeks to produce clean energy in line with its 2050 zero emissions target, the country's nuclear regulator has announced.

The UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) on Wednesday said that it expects to issue the operating license for Unit-3 of the UAE' Barakah nuclear plant in 2022.

"We will issue the operating license for unit-3 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant this year if everything goes smoothly as planned. If there are any unexpected events, then it might take a little bit longer," Christer Viktorsson, director-general of FANR said at a virtual media briefing.

"For unit 4 of the nuclear reactor, the original plan is one year after we have issued the operating license for unit 3."

Last year, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced the completion of unit 3.

Once fully operational, the four Barakah Nuclear Power Plant units will generate 5.6GW of power while preventing more than 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions a year, rapidly decarbonising the power sector and contributing to UAE's Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative.

Viktorsson noted that being mandated to protect the public, workers and the environment, 2021 was a remarkable year for FANR and it succeeded in being positioned as a leading regulator globally.

He further underscored that FANR would continue to advocate its mission to ensure the exclusively peaceful use of nuclear energy and build the capability of Emiratis to regulate the nuclear and radiation sectors.


The director-general also pointed out that FANR achieved key milestones in regards to licensing of the units of Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. Unit 1 is commercially operating and delivering electricity to the grid; FANR issued the Operating License for Unit 2, which is currently undergoing tests in preparation for commercial operation, he said.

The authority reaffirmed that it will continue to conduct the regulatory oversight of the four nuclear power plant units to ensure its safety and security and protection of the public and the environment.

Nuclear non-proliferation

FANR continues to carry out its mission as stipulated by the UAE's nuclear law to regulate the nation's nuclear sector for peaceful purposes. FANR carried out over 70 safeguards-related inspections, including five at Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, and 85 import/export control inspections during 2021, ensuring compliance with FANR's regulations. FANR issued 24 nuclear-regulated import and export licenses.

Radiation safety

FANR measures the radiation levels in the UAE environment as part of its effort to protect the community. It will issue the third edition of the 2017 'Radiological Environmental Monitoring Programme Report', which illustrates FANR's efforts in protecting the public and the environment.

The authority continuously monitors the local environment via its environmental laboratory and its 18 stations across the country. Meanwhile, FANR continued its regulatory mission by carrying out some 300 inspections for medical and non-medical purposes. It also issued a total of 1,279 licenses: 290 new licenses, amended 378 licenses, renewed 611 and issued 1,404 import/export radiation source permits.

Emergency Preparedness is also a key priority of FANR as mandated by the UAE nuclear law. In 2021, the UAE, in collaboration with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and national entities, hosted the largest nuclear emergency exercise (ConvEx-3) to test the emergency preparedness and response system to address any nuclear or radiological emergency. The IAEA report will be issued this year, providing recommendations on the exercise.


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