UAE starts operating first nuclear power plant in Arab world

Tamara Abueish, Al Arabiya

The UAE has started operating the first nuclear power plant in the Arab World, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Saturday. The Barakah Nuclear Plant in Abu Dhabi’s al-Dhafrah region was set up to help generate clean electricity that will last the country for up to 60 years, WAM said. “Today we announce the UAE’s success in operating the first peaceful nuclear energy reactor in the Arab world,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum said, adding that nuclear fuel had successfully been loaded into the first of four units.

The UAE is the first in the Arab region and the thirty-third in the world to develop a nuclear energy plant to generate safe, clean, and reliable baseload electricity. Once the nuclear facility is fully operational, it will produce 5.6 gigawatts of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21 million tons of carbon emissions every year.

The reduction is equivalent to the removal of 3.2 million cars annually from the UAE’s roads. “The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has become an engine of growth for the Nation. It will deliver 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity with zero carbon emissions while also supporting economic diversification by creating thousands of high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain,” Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation Mohamed al-Hammadi said.

The plant’s systems will be continuously monitored and tested in the next few months to ensure it meets all regulatory requirements and is in line with all regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security, according to WAM.