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Unit 1 Fuel Assemblies Safely Transported And Securely Stored At Barakah Plant
(27 May 2017)
Fuel Assemblies ready to generate emissions-free electricity to power the UAE, pending regulatory approval

 

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The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced the successful receipt of the fuel assemblies required to generate electricity from Unit 1. The fuel assemblies are securely stored in Barakah until the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) approves the Operating License for Units 1 & 2, which will allow the generation of the first megawatts of emission-free electricity to power the growth of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The fuel assemblies were transported in adherence to the highest standards of quality and safety, in accordance with the recommendations of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as well as FANR regulations and the safeguard of the Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority (CICPA).

The new fuel assemblies were produced by KEPCO NF to the exacting standards of the APR-1400 reactor and are transported in highly protected rigid structures to guarantee their integrity. The transportation does not require extraordinary measures of radiation protection, as new fuel assemblies only emit natural safe levels of radiation. 

The process to fabricate the fuel assemblies for Unit 1 was the result of the close collaboration between ENEC and a series of international fuel suppliers contracted in 2012 to provide a series of nuclear fuel services to cover ENEC’s requirements for Barakah Units 1 to 4 for a period of 15 years, starting in 2017.

The fuel strategy is founded on the UAE’s commitment to the highest standards of safety, security and non-proliferation, outlined in the UAE Policy on Nuclear Energy document released in April 2008. It also guarantees security of supply, quality assurance of fuel-related materials and competitive commercial terms to protect the interests of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program by providing volume flexibilities and the ability to adapt to changing market conditions.

 “As we move towards the operation of the first nuclear energy reactor in the UAE, the successful transportation of the first fuel assemblies to the Barakah plant is a major success for ENEC and the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC CEO. “The transportation was made possible thanks to the cooperation of numerous teams at ENEC and its Joint Venture partner, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), alongside Nawah, FANR, CICPA, and other government and international stakeholders. The fact that all fuel assemblies were transported safely and protecting their integrity reflects the commitment of all these entities to the highest standards of quality, safety, and security

In accordance to FANR regulations, all fuel assemblies arriving at the Barakah plant must be closely inspected by ENEC’s and Nawah’s fuel experts. These inspections are done to ensure the structural integrity of each fuel assembly and to obtain confirmation and independent verification of the quality of the assemblies.

“We are glad to announce that all the received fuel assemblies have cleared quality inspections at site and that they are ready to be used to produce electricity for the Nation, pending regulatory approval” said Dr. Mohamed Abdalla Chookah, Executive Director for Fuel Procurement & Analysis. “New fuel assemblies, meaning fuel assemblies that have not yet completed a fuel cycle inside a reactor, contain fresh fuel pellets which emit natural amounts of radiation that are well below international safe limits. ENEC’s number one priority is the safety of the community, the environment, its staff and its technology and we are glad to report that the fuel assemblies are securely stored within the Barakah plant.”

Since its inception in 2009, ENEC has focused on the safe delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. Construction of Unit 1 began in 2012 and it is now more than 95% complete. All four units are now 80% complete. Once the four reactors are online, the facility will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs.



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