UAE’s first nuclear power plant starts commercial operations

The United Arab Emirates’ first nuclear power plant has started its commercial operations.

The Barakah nuclear power plant in the Abu Dhabi emirate has become the first nuclear power station in the Arab world and part of the oil producing state’s efforts to diversify its energy mix, reuters reports.

“The first megawatt from the first Arab nuclear plant has entered the national power grid,” Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said on Twitter.

According to de facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, it is an importatnt moment for the country.

Barakah’s construction has faced delays as the Gulf state builds a nuclear industry from scratch.

Unit 1 received its operating licence from the nuclear regulator only in 2020.

Last August, Unit 1 was connected to the national power grid and in December reached 100% of reactor power capacity during testing.

Unit 2 was issued an operating licence in March this year.

When completed Barakah, which is being built by Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), will have four reactors with 5,600 megawatts (MW) of total capacity – equivalent to around 25% of the UAE’s peak demand.

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