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Thursday, September 28, 2023

New cohort of nuclear energy professionals certified by FANR


The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) follows the UAE’s leading approach to developing national talent to ensure the sustainable success of its civilian nuclear energy programme.

Fast forward to today, and the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program not only has hundreds of UAE nationals with degrees in nuclear engineering, but now adds 39 certified UAE national nuclear operators to the 30 that have been certified since 2020 UAE national nuclear operator.

This brings the total number of certified Senior Reactor Operators (SROs) and Reactor Operators (Ros) in the country to 193, of whom 69 are UAE nationals, including 9 Emirati women.

The UAE national operator is working with a number of international experts, many of whom have decades of operating experience in nuclear power plants around the world.

These nuclear specialists are now certified to operate the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant as part of the operating staff of Nawah Energy Corporation (Nawah), the operations and maintenance subsidiary of ENEC, which operates and maintains the plant.

After passing rigorous examinations, each received a certificate from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator.

To become a qualified SRO and RO, each candidate is required to complete a comprehensive training program at state-of-the-art nuclear power plants around the world, alongside academic studies in the UAE and abroad.

The program enables operators to acquire the knowledge and skills to manage nuclear energy reactors through academic work, practical experience and development programmes.

Operators spend thousands of hours in Barakah’s state-of-the-art simulators to ensure they are competent in any situation. To obtain formal qualifications and licensure, they take rigorous exams assessed by FANR experts.

With units 1, 2 and 3 entering commercial operation and unit 4 entering the final stages of commissioning, more operators are being trained to ensure a sustainable talent pipeline for the next 60 years of operation, and the long-term success.

“We were inspired by the UAE’s previous energy pioneers who paved the way for us, and today the UAE is at the forefront of one of the world’s most important clean energy technologies that can rapidly reduce carbon emissions. I am proud to be part of a multinational work in teams and learn from global experts at the Barakah facility,” said newly certified SRO Khalid Almarzooqi.

Mariam Alameri, one of the newly certified SROs, said: “I am proud to join our other female operators and the many women working in various aspects of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy programme. ENEC and its subsidiaries make up 20% of our workforce, With one of the highest percentages of women in the nuclear energy industry globally, this highlights the empowerment of women in our industry in the UAE to enable a clean energy transition towards net zero emissions by 2050″

Ahmed Jasem Alzaabi, another newly certified SRO, said: “I look forward to working with a team that has developed a historic and large-scale project that provides clean electricity to homes, industry and businesses today and will continue to do so for at least the future Continue to do so for several years. The next 60 years. We benefit from years of advanced training to meet UAE regulatory requirements and meet the highest international standards in the global nuclear energy industry. This equips us to safely operate our plants and lead our nation’s clean energy transition required experience, skills and knowledge.”

Majed Al Mansoori, a newly certified SRO, commented: “I am looking forward to using all my training and experience to work at the Barakah facility. I know that through our work we are driving the decarbonization of the energy sector and Support our country in achieving net zero emissions.”

The plant is accelerating the decarbonization of the power sector to support the development of the nation’s net-zero economy, in addition to spearheading the growth of the UAE’s intellectual wealth, providing thousands of high-value career opportunities for UAE nationals while promoting clean energy through clean energy R&D Growth and innovation.

The Barakah plant is a driving force for sustainable development, energy security and stability in the UAE, creating high-value jobs and stimulating local industry, in addition to delivering significant environmental benefits to the country for the next 60 years and beyond.

It is this enhancement of national capacity and national wisdom that is so important to the UAE, with plans to cross-pollinate skills and expertise in related sectors such as agriculture, medicine and deep space exploration. This will provide the significant value that nuclear energy has to provide beyond electricity generation.

The plant demonstrates the success of the UAE’s long-term investment in diversifying its energy portfolio while moving towards a net-zero future through nuclear energy. Demand for gas-powered electricity in Abu Dhabi is now at an 11-year low, driven by a major shift in how the UAE generates electricity.

ENEC is now leading research in areas such as small modular reactors (SMRs), clean hydrogen and other clean technologies. Barakah provides electricity around the clock, sustainably powering the nation’s development. Once fully operational, Barakah’s four units will provide up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs.


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