UAE gets first batch of nuclear power plant trainees

The UAE has got its first group of 10 graduates to oversee safety operations at its first nuclear energy plant, after the batch completed a specialised training programme.

PTI| Last Updated: Jun 16, 2014, 15:33 PM IST

Dubai: The UAE has got its first group of 10 graduates to oversee safety operations at its first nuclear energy plant, after the batch completed a specialised training programme.

The graduates will now join the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) full time as part of a team working towards the start of commercial operations in 2017.

Local operators supervise operations across a nuclear energy facility, reporting on systems, controlling equipment and directly monitoring plant equipment performance.

The ENEC celebrated the graduation of its first group of local operators this week in the country`s emerging nuclear energy sector after the completion of the 15-month local operator training programme, designed to equip trainees to oversee safety measures.

Delivered at leading educational and nuclear training facilities in the UAE and Korea, the training is part of ENEC`s Energy Pioneers programme, aimed to attract and develop talent and provide them with an opportunity to become pioneers of the UAE`s nuclear energy industry.

Local operators play an integral role in safe operations, and are assigned throughout the plant to provide constant monitoring of plant equipment.

The UAE`s civilian nuclear energy programme is built on rigorous standards of safety, quality and security, and world class training is fundamental to developing a talented Emirati workforce with the skills and experience required to maintain this commitment, said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC`s Chief Executive Officer.

The programme was developed in conjunction with its prime contractor, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

The graduates are one of four groups of local operators, reactor operators and senior reactor operators currently at various stages of training.

ENEC will need around 2,000 employees to operate its four nuclear energy plants and help power the future growth of the nation by 2020.

Its first two units are now more than 45 per cent complete. Unit 1 is scheduled to enter commercial operations in 2017, and Unit 2 is scheduled for operations in 2018, pending regulatory approvals.