UAE commences operations of first-ever nuclear energy plant

The United Arab Emirates has announced commencement of commercial operations of a nuclear energy power plant, that is set to be the Arab world’s first.

Operators of the advanced power plant said on Tuesday that this was a major milestone for the nuclear energy power station.

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UAE’s vice president and prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, tweeted saying “The UAE has entered a landmark phase.

“The first megawatt from the first Arab nuclear plant has entered the national power grid”

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Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan likewise lauded the achievement.

He tweeted “The start of commercial operations at the Barakah nuclear energy plant is a historic milestone for the UAE that significantly enhances the sustainability of our entire power sector” .

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Chief executive of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation Mohamed Al Hammadi, said, “The loading of nuclear fuel into the first of four reactors at the site, which together will eventually provide up to 25 per cent of the UAE’s energy, is seen as the official start of operations and was completed over the past fortnight.

“Although not yet feeding power into the electricity grid, that landmark is expected to be completed within the coming months after the first reactor is switched on and gradually powers up.

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“Our teams have been training over the years to safely progress towards providing the UAE with clean, reliable and abundant electricity to power our economic and societal growth.”

The UAE, which is made up of seven emirates, including the capital Abu Dhabi and Dubai, is the fourth largest oil producer in the OPEC cartel.

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When fully operational, the four reactors of the Barakah plant will generate 5,600 megawatts, around 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs.

Barakah, which means “blessing” in Arabic, is an Arab first.

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Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has said it plans to build up to 16 nuclear reactors, but the project has yet to materialise.

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