The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has issued two licenses for the Barakah nuclear power plant in the western region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The first regards the transportation of unirradiated nuclear fuel to the plant, while the second focuses on the handling and storage of materials at Unit I of the facility.

Unirradiated fuel supplied at Barakah will be the first of its kind for the UAE.

The FANR Board of Management has issued the transport license to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), while the handling and storage license was issued to the UAE’s Nawah Energy Company in the middle of December last year.

Approvals were issued following thorough assessments and readiness inspections by FANR staff, which helped ensure  license applications addressed strict safety, security, and safeguard requirements.

FANR's director general Christer Viktorsson said: “I am pleased with the concerted efforts of the departments at FANR, who have worked laboriously throughout the licensing review period to ensure that the licence applicants complied with our regulations and met the highest international standards of safety, security, and safeguards.

“FANR fosters a strong safety culture and this commitment is shared by our Board of Management.”

While FANR issued the handling and storage license, the plant's operator will require a further FANR license for the plant to facilitate loading nuclear fuel. This license was applied for in March 2015 and is currently under review.

Image: FANR issues transport license and handling and storage license for Barakah nuclear project. Photo: courtesy of FANR.