“Barakah” UAE’s First Nuclear Plant is Launched

United Arab Emirates has launched the operations in its very first nuclear plant on Friday. The Barakah nuclear plant is the first of four units at the Barakah nuclear power station, and the first nuclear plant in the Arab world.

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Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said that Nawah Energy Company, its subsidiary, had successfully achieved first criticality of Unit 1 of the Barakah plant, located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi, in the early hours of Friday 31 July 2020. First Criticality is a step in the process to achieving commercial operations, scheduled for next year.

The UAE is now number 33 globally to develop a nuclear energy plant to generate safe, clean, and reliable baseload electricity.

"The start-up of Unit 1 marks the first time that the reactor safely produces heat, which is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity," said ENEC in a press release.

"It will deliver 25% of the UAE’s electricity with zero carbon emissions while also supporting economic diversification by creating thousands of high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain," H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC said.

the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program commenced in 2009, ENEC has worked closely with international nuclear bodies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and WANO,  in line with the robust regulatory framework of FANR. To date, more than 255 inspections have been undertaken by FANR to ensure the Barakah plant and its people and processes meet the highest standards of nuclear quality and safety. These national reviews have been supported by more than 40 assessments and peer reviews by the IAEA and WANO.

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