UAE begins operations of first reactor of $24.4bn Barakah nuclear project


The UAE has commissioned the first reactor out of the four units in the $24.4bn Barakah nuclear power plant (NPP) in the Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi.

The 5.6GW Barakah nuclear power project is being constructed by Nawah Energy, a joint venture between UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

Expected to offset up to 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, the nuclear project is claimed to be the first of its kind in the UAE and the Middle East.

Featuring four APR1400 pressurised water reactors, the Barakah nuclear project is expected to meet almost 25% of the UAE’s power needs for at least 60 years, once fully operational.

Nawah Energy CEO Ali Al Hamm said: “We are now another step closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our Nation’s electricity needs and powering its future growth with safe, reliable, and emissions-free electricity.

“Through the realization of the vision of our Leadership, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has become an engine of growth for the Nation.

“It will deliver 25% of the UAE’s electricity with zero carbon emissions while also supporting economic diversification by creating thousands of high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain.”

With the recent completion of construction, Unit 2 of the Barakah power project is undergoing operational readiness preparations by Nawah.

Meanwhile, construction is in the final stages for the Units 3 and 4 of the nuclear plant.

The nuclear project was initially planned to be commissioned in 2017 but was delayed due to potential risks to the environment and regional security, reported Al Jazeera.

Operations begin at Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in UAE. (Credit: Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation)

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