UAE’s first nuclear power plant begins its commercial operations, more clean energy

The United Arab Emirates’ entered a landmark phase today, tweeted the ruler of Dubai. The Arab leaders call it a historic moment. Read more.

Created On: Apr 7, 2021 19:34 ISTModified On: Apr 7, 2021 19:34 IST
UAE’s first nuclear power plant

The Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates’ began its commercial operations on April 6, 2021, the Gulf Arab state’s leaders announced on Twitter.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan took it Twitter to celebrate their ‘historic’ milestone for the country, which is also celebrating 50 years since its formation.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, UAE’s Vice President and ruler of Dubai also tweeted, “The first megawatt from the first Arab nuclear plant has entered the national power grid.”

About Barakah Nuclear Plant

•The Barakah nuclear power plant, located in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, is the first nuclear power plant in the UAE.

•It is a part of the oil- producing UAE’sefforts to diversify its energy mix.

•The plant’s Unit 1 received its operating licence from the nuclear regulator in 2020 after a three-year delay from the expected startup year of operations.

•In August 2020, Unit 1 had entered the national power grid and in December 2020, it reached 100% of reactor power capacity during testing.The plant’s Unit 2 received its operating licence in March 2021.

•The Barakah nuclear power plant is being built by theEmirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

•Upon completion, the nuclear plant will have four reactors with 5.600 megawatts (MW) of total capacity which meets around 25% of the UAE’s demand and counter the release of 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year.

United Arab Emirates Nuclear Energy Plans

•The UAE came into being in 1971, comprising of seven emirates including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

•The UAE joined the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1967. Though the UAE is ranked the world’s 7th largest exporter for oil reserves and natural gas reserves, it is pursuing more clean, safe, and renewable sources of energy to meet the energy needs.

•The country has been pursuing a peaceful nuclear energy program as a key component of the UAE’s Energy Strategy 2050 to diversify its energy mix.

•The UAE and the US signed a bilateral agreement known as a ‘123 agreement’ for peaceful nuclear energy cooperation. This pact lays down the legal framework for the exchange of nuclear energy technology between the two countries.

•The ‘123 Agreement’ has played a critical role in the development of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the UAE.

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