UAE nuclear regulator FANR has certified the first group of 15 reactor operators at Nawah Energy, the JV of state nuclear firm Enec and contractor Kepco E&C founded to operate four 1.4GW nuclear reactors under construction at Barakah in Abu Dhabi. Certification is a significant step towards FANR awarding Nawah a license to start-up the delayed Barakah-1 unit. This was scheduled for start-up in 2017 and is mechanically complete but awaiting the insertion of fuel rods for trial operations. Three similar plants are nearing completion.

FANR cannot provide Nawah with an operating license until reactor operators have sufficient experience of observing operations at Kepco’s first APR1400 reactor, the model installed in the four Barakah units. However, start-up of the Korean reactor was delayed from 2013 to December 2016 because of a scandal involving faked safety certificates (MEES, 23 November 2012). UAE Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei says first electricity from Barakah-1 is not expected this year (MEES, 25 January). (CONTINUED - 153 WORDS)