Plant Operation

Barakah-1 / First Commercial Nuclear Plant In Arab World Begins Operation

By David Dalton
6 April 2021

South Korea-supplied reactor will be one of four at the site in the United Arab Emirates
First Commercial Nuclear Plant In Arab World Begins Operation
Barakah-1 has become the first commercial nuclear unit to operate in the Arab world. Courtesy Enec.
The Barakah-1 nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates has begun commercial operation, making it the first commercial nuclear unit to operate in the Arab world, it was announced.

In a post on his Twitter feed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, applauded the achievement, describing it as a significant milestone in the UAE’s long-term roadmap for sustainable, knowledge-based economic prosperity, benefiting many generations to come.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), established in 2009 to develop the nuclear energy programme, confirmed that its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company successfully started commercial operations of Barakah-1 following the completion of all testing activities.

The 1,345 MW APR-1400 unit is now providing constant, reliable, and sustainable electricity around the clock, Enec said.

It said the start of commercial operations follows a period of extensive testing, overseen by the national regulator FANR, which has conducted 312 inspections since the start of Barakah’s development. These reviews were carried out alongside more than 42 assessments and peer reviews by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.

The Barakah nuclear station, in the Al Dhafra region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is one of the largest nuclear energy new-build projects in the world, with four APR-1400 units supplied by South Korea. Construction of Unit 1 began in 2012.

Fuel loading has been completed a Unit 2 and construction of Units 3 and 4 is in the final stages with Unit 3 94% complete and Unit 4 89% complete. The construction of the Barakah station as a whole is now more than 95% complete.

Once the four reactors are online, Barakah will providing around 25% of the country’s electricity. The UAE’s energy strategy calls for 6% nuclear as part of 50% clean energy in 2050.

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