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UAE delays launch of first nuclear reactor until 2018
by Staff Writers
Abu Dhabi (AFP) May 5, 2017

The United Arab Emirates on Friday delayed the start-up of its first nuclear reactor until next year for further safety checks because regulators have not yet granted an operating licence.

The reactor, one of four being built at the $20-billion Barakah plant west of Abu Dhabi by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO), had been due to begin operating this year.

But UAE nuclear regulators are still reviewing the operating licence application which was submitted in March 2015, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp. (ENEC) announced.

The delay aims "to ensure sufficient time for international assessments and adherence to nuclear industry safety standards, as well as a reinforcement of operational proficiency for plant personnel," it said.

It said the new schedule reflects "lessons learned" from problems at South Korea's New Gori No. 3 reactor. The Barakah plant is based on the same technology.

Senior nuclear experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators will conduct a series of voluntary assessments at Barakah, it added.

ENEC said the project, which will be operated by a joint venture with KEPCO, is now 79-percent complete.

When fully operational the four reactors are expected to provide up to a quarter of the UAE's electricity.

There was no immediate comment from UAE nuclear regulators. The IAEA declined to comment.

Ukraine clings to nuclear power despite Chernobyl trauma
Kiev (AFP) April 30, 2017
Ukraine is still suffering from the trauma of the world's worst civil nuclear accident at Chernobyl but has nonetheless turned the hazardous fuel into the backbone of its energy portfolio. The crisis-torn country now uses atomic power for more than half of its electricity needs as it struggles through a coal shortage sparked by a three-year war against Russian-backed insurgents in the separa ... read more

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