The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has granted the operating licence for what will be the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world.
The Barakah nuclear plant will consist of four units that will supply 5.6GW of electricity, helping meet up to 25% of the UAE’s power needs.
It is also expected to avoid around 20 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars from the roads.
The project is part of the UAE Energy Plan for 2050, which is targeting an energy mix that combined renewables, nuclear and other clean energy sources.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi tweeted: “Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating license for the first Barakah plant.”
Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating license for the first Barakah plant. As we prepare for the next 50 years to safeguard our needs, our biggest strength is national talent.
— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) February 17, 2020
With the operating licence granted, plant operator Nawah Energy Company has started the process of fuel loading and following tests, the start-up of the nuclear chain reaction and connection to the grid is expected later this year.
It said the grant of the licence is a “moment of national pride”.
A moment of national pride and a milestone for the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program as Nawah receives the Operating License for Unit 1 of the Barakah plant from FANR.
Congratulations to our employees and partners who have turned this vision into a reality. pic.twitter.com/aNatmqRwI6
— Nawah Energy Company (@NawahEnergy) February 17, 2020
Agneta Rising, Director General of the World Nuclear Association said: “This is a big step towards the start-up of Barah, which will soon supply clean and reliable electricity to the UAE for generations to come.
“Looking forward, not only will the start-up of Barakah provide clean and reliable electricity, it will also provide many highly skilled job opportunities throughout its operations for decades to come.”