International Atomic Energy Agency Newcomers webinar showcases success of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program


- The UAE took part in the IAEA webinar on newcomers’ success stories, which focused on the keys to delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program

- The UAE Program demonstrates the success and viability of new era nuclear programs to be delivered and their proven capability for tackling climate change

The UAE took part in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s first edition of the IAEA Webinar Series on newcomer success stories in nuclear infrastructure development. The session was dedicated to the success of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, from its inception more than a decade ago to the start of commercial operations of Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which was announced early April 2021.

The webinar commenced with opening remarks from Mikhail Chudakov, Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy and , Deputy Director General of the IAEA and H.E Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the IAEA, H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, Christer Viktorsson, Director-General of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), Ali Al Hammadi, CEO of Nawah, Nasser Al Nasseri, CEO of Barakah One Company (BOC) and Professor Dr. Ahmed Alkaabi of Khalifa University, and was attended by over  500 people from over 70 countries.

The virtual webinar focused on the success story of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, and lessons learned over the years, as part of the global nuclear industry approach to knowledge sharing and transfer.

H.E. Hamad Al Kaabi said: “The IAEA has been an important partner in our efforts towards the development and implementation of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. This close cooperation covered important areas including regulatory framework, infrastructure and capacity building. The IAEA’s involvement and support has been instrumental to the launch and the successful implementation of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. The UAE is committed to upholding its nuclear policy principles and will continue to work with the IAEA over the coming decades, and to share experience for the benefit of other member states.”

H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi commented during the webinar: “We have delivered on our promise to the global community and the citizens of the UAE by producing abundant clean electricity through a safe and quality-driven civilian nuclear energy program at our flagship Barakah Plant. The Milestones approach developed by the IAEA has been a key reference for the UAE roadmap on nuclear infrastructure development. As a result, the Barakah Model demonstrates that a peaceful nuclear energy program can be delivered to the highest standards of nuclear safety, security, transparency and non-proliferation, and is a viable solution for countries looking for proven technologies to significantly cut carbon emissions to tackle climate change..”

“When the United Arab Emirates started the first commercial operation of the Unit 1 of Barakah Plant, it culminated efforts made in a journey that started 12 years ago with the vision of its leadership to diversify sources of energy and use nuclear energy to contribute to the energy mix and develop the nuclear industry from scratch. The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has been instrumental in developing a robust and innovative regulatory framework to oversee the nuclear and radiation sectors in the UAE. FANR, with its competent Emirati and expatriates expertise, play an important role to ensure the safety of the public, workers and the environment. The UAE has become a role model for newcomers in governing the nuclear energy program, obtaining global endorsements and credits for its nuclear regulatory framework,” said Christer Viktorsson, Director-General of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

Ali Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC’s operating and maintenance JV subsidiary Nawah Energy Company, talked about the national regulations and  international best practice that the operations and maintenance activities adhere to, and the significant capacity building efforts, with Nasser Al Nasseri, CEO of ENEC’s financial and commercial JV subsidiary Barakah One Company focused on the governance and financing frameworks that have ensured the Barakah project has been delivered in line with stakeholder expectations in a financially sustainable manner.

Professor Dr. Ahmed Al Kaabi, Khalifa University talked about the efforts in the academic sector to ensure a strong pipeline of Emirati talent to develop the UAE Program, and operate and maintain the Barakah plant for the decades ahead.

The recent start of commercial operations signaled a major advancement in the UAE’s commitment to decarbonizing its electricity generation and tackling climate change. The Barakah Plant today plays a significant role in the diversification of the Nation’s energy portfolio and has the potential to serve as a bridge to other clean energy technologies in the future.

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafra region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is one of the largest nuclear energy plants in the world, with four APR-1400 Units. Construction of the Plant began in 2012 and has progressed steadily ever since. Unit 2 has now completed the fuel load process and is working through all of the required processes prior to start-up. Construction of Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages with the Units 94 percent and 89 percent complete respectively, benefitting from the experience and lessons learned during the construction of Units 1 and 2. The construction of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 95 percent complete.