Barakah nuclear power plant takes a big step forward to delivering UAE's clean energy future 

19 February 2020

The first unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant in United Arab Emirates has received its operating license from the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, giving the go-ahead for 60 years of operations. 

Agneta Rising, Director General, World Nuclear Association commented, “This is a big step towards the start-up of Barakah, which will soon supply clean and reliable electricity to the UAE for generations to come.”

When the plant begins operations the UAE will become the latest newcomer country to join more than thirty already using nuclear energy to meet their clean energy needs. Also expected to join this group is Belarus, which is due to start operations at Ostrovets later this year. Reactors are under construction in two other newcomer countries, Bangladesh and Turkey, and projects are in development in Uzbekistan and Egypt.

When all four units at Barakah are complete the plant will supply 5,600 megawatts of electricity, meeting up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs. It will help avoid around 20 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars from the roads.

The UAE Energy Plan for 2050 is targeting an energy mix that combines renewable, nuclear and other clean energy sources to meet the UAE’s economic requirements and environmental goals.

With the operating license granted Nawah, the plant’s operator, has begun the process of fuel loading, where 241 fuel assemblies will be lowered by crane into position in the reactor vessel. Following tests, start-up of the nuclear chain reaction and connection to the grid is expected later this year.

Commenting on the achieving the milestone of fuel loading of unit 1 Agneta Rising said, “Excellent work has already been done by the many employees and contractors involved in the Barakah project to get the plant built and ready to operate. 

Looking forward, not only will the start-up of Barakah provide clean and reliable electricity, it will also provide many highly-skilled job opportunities throughout its operations for decades to come.”   

World Nuclear Association is the international organisation that represents the global nuclear industry. Its mission is to promote a wider understanding of nuclear energy among key international influencers by producing authoritative information, developing common industry positions, and contributing to the energy debate, as well as to pave the way for expanding nuclear business.

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