UAE first stage of nuclear plant “Barakah” completed

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammad Al Nahyan announced Monday the completion of construction of Unit I to Barakah Nuclear Plant, describing it as an historic achievement to UAE in the international arena.

In the inauguration ceremony, Sheikh Mohammad and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea visited the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Al Dhafra Region to celebrate the successful completion of Unit I construction.

During the ceremony, both leaders highlighted the importance of this historic milestone that sets the UAE as the first Arab country to deliver a commercial nuclear plant to the highest standards of safety, quality and security, as well as the first nuclear newcomer since 1985.

With this strategic milestone achieved, Unit I clears the construction phase, and the project now shifts its focus to completing operational readiness preparations required to obtain the approval of the Operating License by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, (FANR).

This latest accomplishment is the result of the close collaborative relationship between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its prime contractor and joint venture partner, the Korea Electric Power Corporation, KEPCO.

While adhering to the highest standards of safety and quality, ENEC and KEPCO have completed Unit I construction in 69 months, in strict adherence to FANR regulations.

The accomplishment is even more notable, given the complete absence of any previous nuclear industry of infrastructure within the UAE, and it provides a positive reference point for other nations considering the adoption of peaceful nuclear energy.

Sheikh Mohammad said “this is a historic moment in our nation’s development as we celebrate the construction completion of Unit I of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

“The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme will play a strategic role in the growth of our nation by enhancing our energy security, diversifying our economy, and creating employment opportunities for our people, thereby helping secure the future of generations to come,” he said.

Sheikh Mohammad also expressed his pride in the role played by Emirati professionals in the project’s development, working in close collaboration with Government and regulatory partners, to ensure the delivery of Unit I to the highest standards of safety, quality and security.

“Today is a historic day for the energy sector of the UAE, as we continue to make progress on one of our nation’s most significant projects,” he added.

The event highlighted the strong relationship between the UAE and the Republic of Korea, which commenced back in 2009 when KEPCO was appointed by ENEC to lead the Prime Contract for the construction of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

ENEC also continues to manage the construction of Barakah Units 2, 3 and 4, which are benefitting from the experience and lessons learned during the construction of Unit I and which are likely to achieve even more impressive construction schedules.

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the largest nuclear energy new build project in the world, with four APR-1400 units under simultaneous construction.

Construction of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant began in 2012 and has progressed steadily ever since. Construction of Units 2, 3 and 4 are 92 percent, 81 percent, and 66 percent complete respectively.

The construction of the Barakah plant as a whole is now 86 percent complete.

Once the four reactors are online, the facility will deliver clean, efficient and reliable electricity to the UAE grid for decades to come, providing around 25 percent of the country’s electricity requirements and saving up to 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Source: Kuwait News Agency