Nuclear power key for UAE energy security
By 2020, the Barakah nuclear power plant will supply around a quarter of the country's electricity needs
Nuclear power is the best way for the world and the UAE to meet its energy demands, according to top nuclear energy professionals at the recently concluded Rosatom Atomexpo 2016.
Atomexpo is the largest exhibition venue for meetings and negotiations between world leaders in the nuclear power sector. This year's exhibition and conference focused on new players entering the nuclear energy sector.
Mohamed Shaker, minister of electricity and mineral resources, Egypt; Hassan Mahmoud Hassanein, first deputy minister of electricity and mineral resources, Egypt; Khaled Toukan, chairman of Jordan Atomic Energy Commission; and Hashem Yamani, president of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, Saudi Arabia; featured in day two of the conference at a panel discussion highlighting the future of nuclear power and new players.
The UAE is fast entering the nuclear world and by 2020, the country's nuclear power plant in Barakah will supply around a quarter of the emirates' electricity needs.
Despite events such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, more developing countries are opting for nuclear power plants, said top officials at Atomexpo.
The UAE started construction on four units of 1,400 megawatt each to generate 5,600MW on April 1, 2010, with drilling work on the site in Barakah, about 53km from Ruwais in the Western Region.
In April this year, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) confirmed that the project is progressing steadily, as unit 1 is now more than 87 per cent complete, unit 2 is 68 per cent complete, unit 3 is 47 per cent complete and unit 4 is 29 per cent complete. Overall, construction of units 1 to 4 is now more than 62 per cent complete.
"The country, which has a nuclear power plant, moves to a new level in terms of science, technology, industry and education," said Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation director-general Sergei Kiriyenko.
As of May 2016, 30 countries worldwide are operating 444 nuclear reactors for electricity generation and 63 new nuclear plants are under construction in 15 countries.
"Share of nuclear power in the global energy balance will grow. More than a thousand new nuclear reactors may be constructed and commissioned by 2050. This is a very important task as we need to reduce hydrocarbon consumption globally," Agneta Rising, director-general of the World Nuclear Association, said at the opening of Atomexpo 2016.
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