The Emirates Nuclear Energy (ENEC) and its prime contractor and joint venture partner Korea Electric Power (Kepco ) has completed construction of unit one of the Barakah nuclear power plant in Al Dhafra, UAE.
The 5.6GW nuclear power plant will feature four units with Advanced Power Reactor 1400MW (APR-1400) nuclear reactor technology and be the first of its kind in the country since 1985.
The 1,400MW reactors are being developed by Kepco .
A ceremony marking the completion of unit one construction at the plant was attended by South Korean president Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was quoted by Emirates news agency Wam as saying: “This is a historic moment in our nation’s development as we celebrate the construction completion of unit one of the Barakah nuclear power plant.
“The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme will play a strategic role in the growth of our nation by enhancing our energy security, diversifying our economy, and creating employment opportunities for our people, thereby helping secure the future of generations to come.”
Construction on the plant began in 2012 with units two, three and four are 92%, 81% and 66% complete, respectively.
All four units at the Barakah power plant are scheduled to be completed by 2020, supplying up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs and save up to 21 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.
ENEC board of directors chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak: “Nuclear energy will play a strategic role in the future of the nation.
“With construction completion achieved, the UAE joins an elite group of countries that have managed to build such a complex and demanding facility to the highest standards of safety and quality.”
The unit one reactor will now complete operational readiness preparations to secure operating licence approval from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), according to the UAE Nuclear Law.
The unit is also undergoing a number of assessments by independent international nuclear energy experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).