Plant Operation

Barakah / Unit 3 Begins Commercial Operation At Arab World’s First Nuclear Station

By David Dalton
24 February 2023

Four APR-1400 reactors will deliver up to 25% of UAE’s electricity demands

Unit 3 Begins Commercial Operation At Arab World’s First Nuclear Station
The Barakah-3 nuclear power plant in the UAE has begun commercial operation. Courtesy Enec.

Unit 3 at the Barakah nuclear power station in the United Arab Emirtes has begun commercial operation, bringing total production from the first three units at the four-unit facility to up to 4,200 MW, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said.

Barakah-3 is the third South Korea-supplied APR-1400 unit to be delivered in three consecutive years at the Barakah station, in the in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi.

Barakah-1 began commercial operation in April 2021 and Barakah-2 in March 2022. Barakah-4, the final unit at the station, is likely to begin commercial operation within the next year.

Enec said teams at Barakah – the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab World – have reduced the duration from fuel load to commercial operations for Unit 3 by four months compared to Unit 2 and by more than five months compared to Unit 1.

Nuclear energy produced from Barakah will primarily displace “low-efficiency” gas generation and by 2030 eliminate up to 18 million tonnes per annum of carbon emissions when compared with legacy power generation, Enec said. Barakah’s four units will deliver up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity demands.

Last year, Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and chief executive officer of Enec, told the World Government Summit in Dubai that the “sky is the limit” for the UAE’s nuclear energy industry with the country engaged in discussions related to “futuristic reactors” including small modular rectors and the possible use of clean hydrogen generated by reactors.

The UAE has already discussed the possibility of its nuclear industry taking part in potential APR-1400 projects overseas, possibly as part of the supply chain or as an investor.

The four-unit Barakah nuclear power station in the UAE. Courtesy Enec.

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