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The United Arab Emirates on 19 February began loading the first nuclear fuel rods into the reactor at unit 1 of its Barakah nuclear power plant.

Date: Friday, 21 February 2020
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Region's first plant cleared for fuel loading The four-unit Barakah nuclear power station in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Photo courtesy Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. The United Arab Emirates’ Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (Fanr) has issued the operating licence for Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear station in the Middle Eastern country.

Fanr said in a statement that the licence has an “estimated duration” of 60 years and authorises operator Nawah Energy Company to commission and operate the 1,345-MW Barakah-1 plant.

In March 2015, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), Nawah’s parent company, applied for operating licences for the Barakah-1 and -2 nuclear plants.

Fanr said that during the licensing assessment process, it reviewed 14,000 pages of licensing application documentation, carried out more than 185 inspections, and requested approximately 2,000 additional pieces of information on various matters related to reactor design, safety and other issues.

Date: Tuesday, 18 February 2020
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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) data animation based on the Sustainable Development Scenario in the International Energy Agency's (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2019 shows that global nuclear power generation will need to expand significantly beyond its historical markets. This is crucial if the world is to have a reasonable chance at meeting climate change goals, the IAEA said on 3 February.

Date: Thursday, 06 February 2020
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A team from the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) has concluded that unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi is ready to start up. The Pre-Start Up Review (PSUR) - a globally recognised nuclear industry assessment conducted in line with international industry standards set by WANO - took place in November.

Date: Wednesday, 29 January 2020
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The impetus for new build is being spurred by a need to reduce reliance on polluting coal China has 10 nuclear units under construction including two Generation III Hualong One plants at Fangchenggang. China, with its state nuclear companies backed by a government hungry for development, is the most active nation for building new nuclear power plants. That trend that is likely to continue, although confirming lucrative export deals for its reactor technology still runs far behind the pace set by Russia, which says it had 39 reactors under construction or planned overseas as of 2018.

This compares to only two reactors under construction overseas by China, both in Pakistan, although in the UK China has a stake in EDF’s Hinkley Point C project and plans for Chinese technology at Bradwell B. At Sizewell C in Suffolk EDF wants to build a clone of Hinkley Point C if it can attract enough private investment. CGN holds a 20% share.

The government has said it wants to build 30 reactors overseas by 2030. China and Russia both see Africa, where about 600 million people live without electricity, as something of a golden fleece and are pursuing nuclear agreements, which lay the groundwork for new-build, in a number of African nations. Small modular reactors and floating reactors could be an option for isolated areas. China has already said it is close to starting work on its first floating unit, but reliable details are few and far between.

The impetus for nuclear power in China is increasingly due to air pollution from coal-fired plants. To meet its climate goal as stipulated in the Paris agreement, China will need to reduce its coal power capacity by 40% over the next decade, according to Global Energy Monitor’s analysis. At present, this seems unrealistic. In addition to roughly 1,000 GW of existing coal capacity, China has 121 GW of coal plants under construction, which is more than is being built in the rest of the world combined.

Date: Friday, 24 January 2020
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The United Arab Emirates company responsible for deploying and operating commercial nuclear power plants, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), has achieved 75 million safe man-hours at the Barakah nuclear station, a statement said.

Construction of the four South Korean-supplied APR1400 plants at Barakah, west of the capital Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf coast began in 2012.

Enec said it has completed more than 93% in the overall construction of the four plants. Unit 4 is more than 83% complete, Unit 3 is more than 91% ready, and Unit 2 is more than 95% complete.

Nawah Energy Company, the operating and maintenance subsidiary of Enec, “is progressing on its operational readiness activities at the plant”, the statement said.

Date: Friday, 24 January 2020
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Overall construction of the four units is more than 93% complete The Barakah nuclear power station in the UAE. Photo courtesy Enec. The United Arab Emirates’ nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, is carrying out “rigorous and stringent reviews” of the operating licence application for the Barakah-1 nuclear power plant and only after the successful conclusion of a national regulatory review and receipt of international endorsement will it approve commercial operation, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said.

According to Enec, nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Association of Nuclear Operators have also carried out a series of assessments of the robustness of the operating infrastructure at Barakah.

Enec is building four identical South Korea-supplied APR1400 plants at Barakah, west of the capital Abu Dhabi on the Persian Gulf coast.

The overall construction of the four units is more than 93% complete. Unit 4 is more than 83%, Unit 3 is more than 91% and Unit 2 is more than 95%.

Date: Thursday, 23 January 2020
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As the United Arab Emirates' Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UAE Special Representative for International Nuclear Cooperation, I am proud to have been given the opportunity to engage with responsible nations around the world for the promotion of peaceful nuclear energy, writes Hamad Alkaabi.

Date: Thursday, 23 January 2020
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The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) expects loading of the first nuclear fuel assemblies into unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear plant under construction in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to take place in the first quarter of 2020, local media reported.

Date: Friday, 10 January 2020
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The IAEA LEU bank in Kazakhstan. The International Atomic Energy Agency today received the second and final shipment of low-enriched uranium (LEU) at a purpose-built facility in Kazakhstan housing the agency’s LEU bank, which was established to provide assurance to countries about the supply of nuclear fuel.

The agency said in a statement that the delivery “completes the planned stock of the material that the IAEA LEU bank will hold, following the first shipment in October”.

The shipment came from Kazakhstan’s national atomic company Kazatomprom, the world’s largest producer of natural uranium. It delivered 28 cylinders of LEU to the facility at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk.

The uranium originated from Kazakhstan and was enriched at a facility in neighbouring Russia before the LEU was transported by train to the site in eastern Kazakhstan, where it was checked and officially accepted by IAEA experts.

Date: Wednesday, 11 December 2019
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