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Nawah Profile

Nawah Energy Company is the world’s newest nuclear operator. It was established in 2016 to operate and maintain Units 1 to 4 at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, the first nuclear energy plant in the UAE and the region, located in Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

Dedicated to supporting the UAE Government’s plans to boost clean energy across the Emirates, Nawah is delivering the vision of the UAE’s Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program by harnessing the power of nuclear energy to provide a safe, reliable, clean and sustainable supply of low-carbon electricity.

With safety as its overriding priority, and in adherence to the highest international standards, Nawah will generate 5,300 megawatts of energy from 2020 onwards, supplying approximately 25% of the UAE’s electricity requirements and reducing the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 12 million tons annually.

The choice to develop nuclear power capabilities in the UAE was based on an in-depth evaluation of the nation’s growing energy requirements with all types of energy reviewed including natural gas, coal, and renewable and alternative energy sources.

Following the evaluation, the UAE government determined that nuclear power is the most viable and compelling solution to meet its energy needs. In April 2008, the UAE Policy on the Evaluation and Potential Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy was issued. In 2009, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) was established along with the local regulator, Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

FANR protects the UAE’s public, the environment and its workers and also oversees the implementation of the UAE’s obligations under the international treaties, conventions and agreements in the nuclear sector, and determines administrative standards which support excellence in regulation, all in accordance with the best international practices.

Later in December 2009, after a year-long evaluation, the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) was selected as the Prime Contractor to partner with ENEC and the UAE to design, build and support the operation of the four nuclear reactors at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. KEPCO has more than 30 years’ experience in nuclear energy and holds a strong record for developing and delivering nuclear power plants.

Subsequently, Nawah was established as a Private Joint Stock Company (PJSC), after the signing of a Joint Venture Agreement between its shareholders, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) (82%) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) (18%). Nawah is a multinational, multicultural and Emirati-led company, which is fostering the next generation of nuclear energy leaders in the UAE, and attracting top local, regional and international talent with its diverse, fast-paced and dynamic work environment.

The first nuclear power unit at Barakah will begin producing energy in 2018, with all four units scheduled to be fully operational by 2020. Until Unit 1’s operational date, the plant will be in its commissioning phase, which means it will undergo more than 700 different tests to ensure that the unit’s systems, processes and people are prepared for operations. FANR will review and audit all these pre-start up activities to ensure safety and compliance.

Meeting the highest international standards for safety and quality in the nuclear industry is critical for the UAE, FANR, ENEC, Nawah and the wider nuclear industry. Nawah is utilizing the most advanced nuclear technology which is the Advanced Power Reactor 1400 (APR-1400), a Generation III+ reactor designed by KEPCO with safety system that will prevent or mitigate accidents by incorporating cutting-edge passive safety systems.

Fundamental to reaching international best practice standards across all areas are internal standards known as The Nawah Way, which have been enshrined into the company to govern all that it does. The Nawah Way, underpins the organization’s governance, oversight, support and performance systems, which guides its everyday activities as well as its long-term strategies. While its world-class governance system establishes controls, the robust oversight mechanism identifies any existing or potential gaps, the support system ensures that it acts as one team and the performance perimeters in place ensure Nawah always performs to the best of its abilities.

Program Timeline

April 2008
UAE Publishes the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy Policy

October 2009
UAE Adopts its Federal Nuclear Law

December 2009
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s (ENEC) selects its Prime Contractor

April 2010
Initial Drilling

November 2012
Pouring of Safety Related Concrete – Unit 1

April 2013
Pouring of Safety Related Concrete – Unit 2

July 2014
Reactor Vessel Setting – Unit 1

June 2015
Reactor Vessel Setting – Unit 2

2017
Fuel Load Readiness – Unit 1*

2018
Fuel Load – Unit 1*

2018
Completion of Unit 1*

2018
Completion of Unit 2*

2019
Completion of Unit 3*

2020
Completion of Unit 4*

*Pending regulatory approval

Fast Facts
  1. Nawah was established in 2016, and is the newest nuclear operator in the world and a first for the Middle East.
  2. Nawah is the entity that will operate and maintain Units 1 to 4 at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
  3. The Barakah Nuclear Power Plant is located in the UAE in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi in the UAE, approximately 53 kilometres west-southwest of the city of Ruwais.
  4. Safety is Nawah’s first priority.
  5. The Emergency Response Centre (ERC) at Al Ruwais is approximately 50 km away from Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
  6. The first nuclear power unit at Barakah will begin producing energy in 2018, with all four units scheduled to be fully operational by 2020.
  7. Nawah will generate 5,300 megawatts of energy from 2020 onwards, supplying approximately 25% of the UAE’s electricity requirements.
  8. Nawah will provide clean energy. When all 4 units are fully operational, they will reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by 12 million tons annually.
  9. Nawah was established as a Private Joint Stock Company (PJSC), after the signing of a Joint Venture Agreement between its shareholders, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) (82%) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) (18%).
  10. Nawah is utilizing the most advanced nuclear technology available which is the Advanced Power Reactor 1400 (APR-1400), a Generation III+ reactor designed by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
  11. The APR-1400 safety system prevents or mitigates accidents by incorporating cutting-edge passive safety systems. It meets the latest safety criteria set by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) and has been enhanced at Barakah to fulfil the latest requirements for earthquake safety and aircraft impact resistance.
  12. The Unit 1 at Barakah will be the fifth of its kind in the world with the first four units located in South Korea.
  13. Around the world, 31 different countries currently use nuclear energy to generate up to three quarters of their electricity. As a result, nuclear power is responsible for around 11% of the world’s total electricity output.
  14. The UAE Nuclear Policy established the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) as a body to oversee the UAE’s Nuclear Energy sector. It is the first in the region.
  15. The work of both the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Nawah meets international standards as set by the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA).
  16. Nuclear energy is a clean, safe, reliable and competitive energy source. The amount of uranium required to produce energy at a nuclear power plant is significantly lower than the amount of coal or oil required to produce the same amount of energy from a fossil plant. Subsequently, nuclear energy produces significantly smaller amounts of waste than fossil fuel.
  17. One uranium pellet, the size of a fingertip, produces the same amount of energy as 480 liters of oil or 1 ton of coal.
  18. Nawah and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), in partnership with the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC), and in line with guidance from the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi (EAD), have constructed an artificial reef and breakwaters in the shoreline of Barakah.
  19. Nawah is an Emirati-led company, with 60% of the workforce represented by UAE Nationals.
  20. Women represent over 20% of Nawah’s workforce, and work across all areas of the organization, holding positions which range from Senior Reactor Operator to Project Manager.
Useful Links

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO)

Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO)

Institute for Nuclear Power Operations (INPO)