UAE Crown Prince hails ‘remarkable progress’ at Barakah nuclear plant

UAE Crown Prince hails ‘remarkable progress’ at Barakah nuclear plant
UAE Crown Prince hails ‘remarkable progress’ at Barakah nuclear plant

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A regional first, the plant is being built by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation at a cost of some $24.4 billion.

Friday 12/06/2020

A file photo of the completed construction of the first unit at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Al-Dafrah, last March. (AFP)

ABU DHABI –During a tour of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Al Nahyan hailed the “remarkable progress” being made at the Emirati facility, the first of its kind in the Arab world, and stressed the need to go ahead with the project despite the exceptional circumstances created by the coronavirus.

Sheikh Mohamed, who is also deputy supreme commander of the armed forces, praised the commitment of the team at the facility, which he said typified the country’s “pioneering spirit.”

“Today we witnessed remarkable progress at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant,” said Sheikh Mohamed on Twitter.

“We are grateful for the resilience and commitment of the Barakah team who truly represent this country’s pioneering spirit. This project is a source of pride for everyone who calls the UAE home.”

When completed, the Barakah facility will have four reactors with a total capacity of 5,600 megawatts of electricity and will be able to provide up to 25% of the UAE’s energy needs.

Sheikh Mohamed also hailed the country’s successful partnership with South Korea, a strategic partner in the peaceful nuclear energy field.

“South Korea is a strategic partner of the UAE in many fields, particularly in peaceful nuclear energy. We are thankful and proud of this long-standing relationship that has enabled the exchange of specialised expertise, and contributed to the UAE’s long-term prosperity,” he said.

In February, the UAE’s nuclear regulator issued the operating license for the first of the plant’s four reactors, opening the way for commercial operations to begin.

The licence granted to Nawah Energy Company, the plant’s operator, will be for 60 years, Hamad Al Kaabi, deputy chairman of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation said.

The plant had been due to go online in late 2017 but faced a number of delays that officials attributed to safety and regulatory requirements.

The UAE has substantial oil and gas reserves, but with a power-hungry population of 10 million it has made huge investments in developing clean alternatives, including solar energy.

The plant is a regional first — Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has said it plans to build up to 16 nuclear reactors, but the project has yet to materialise.

It is being built by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation at a cost of some $24.4 billion.

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