UAE: Final reactor of Barakah nuclear power plant completed

Once operational, Unit 4 will enable the plant to generate 25 per cent of the UAE's electricity needs for the next 60 years

By WAM

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Photo: Wam file
Photo: Wam file

Published: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 2:16 PM

Last updated: Tue 19 Dec 2023, 10:46 PM

The last of four nuclear reactors of the UAE's Barakah power plant has been completed — with fuel assemblies now loaded into Unit 4, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) announced on Tuesday.

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) recently issued the operating licence for Unit 4 to Enec's operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company. With this milestone, the UAE is now one step closer to the full fleet operations of Barakah, the largest single source of clean electricity in the region.

Once operational, Unit 4 will enable the plant to generate 25 per cent of the UAE's electricity needs around the clock for the next 60 years.

Currently, three units of Barakah are operating at a commercial scale, generating more than 30TWh of zero-emission electricity every year.

Unit 4 will raise the Barakah plant's total clean electricity generation capacity to 5.6GW, delivering more than 40TWh of clean electricity per year, once commercial operations begin.

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Barakah is already preventing millions of tonnes of carbon emissions from reaching the atmosphere.

The operations team will now progress through a comprehensive testing programme prior to completing the start-up of Unit 4. Testing is undertaken under the continued oversight of the FANR.

What happens next

Once Unit 4 is connected to the national electricity grid, the operations team will continue to gradually raise power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT).

The phase will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached, while adhering to all regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security.

The Barakah plant has had a transformational impact on the UAE's energy landscape, spearheading the rapid decarbonisation of the UAE's heavy industries and hard-to-abate sectors.

With Unit 4 due to start up in 2024, Enec is now focused on capitalising on the full value of the UAE's investment in the nuclear energy sector, working closely with key global partners and companies to identify the right technology and meet the growing demand for clean electricity.

Enec, the UAE's only mandated nuclear energy developer, is working with national stakeholders to determine deployment pathways and with international partners for both technology and project collaboration opportunities.

The Barakah plant, a pivotal player in the international nuclear energy sector, boasts four APR-1400 units, marking it as one of the largest nuclear energy facilities globally. The plant is instrumental in the UAE's clean energy transition and its ambitious goal of Net Zero by 2050.

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