Following its initial step towards commencement of operations and later, generation of clean electricity, the Nawah Energy Company — subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) — has begun loading the first nuclear fuel assemblies at Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.
The fuel assembly operations comes just days after Nawah Energy Company received the operating licence for Unit 1 from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) on 16 February 2020.
Approved by the FANR’s board of directors, issuance of the operating license follows a series of assessments and independent reviews of Nawah’s operational readiness, as the license authorises Nawah to operate Unit 1 of the UAE’s first nuclear power plant for a 60-year period.
Nawah will conduct a series of tests, prior to commencing the start-up sequence process known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT), once the fuel assemblies are loaded and operators will safely and steadily raise the power generation levels.
During this process the unit will be synchronised to the grid, and the first megawatts of electricity will be dispatched. Following the successful completion of these tests, Unit 1 will begin commercial operations.
"Our teams are trained, certified and ready to safely commence the testing and start-up processes for Unit 1 working in full adherence to FANR regulations, as well as industry best practices as set forth by the World Association of Nuclear Operators," Nawah’s chief executive officer, Mark Reddemann, said.