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Age of clean electricity begins in UAE with Barakah nuclear energy

The start-up of Unit 1 marks the first time that the reactor safely produces heat turning a turbine to generate electricity.

Beginning a new era of carbon emissions-free electricity in the UAE, the Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has successfully begun operating the Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced.

Unit 1 will soon be connected to the UAE’s electricity grid, delivering the first megawatts of clean electricity to the homes and businesses of the nation. The operation initiation is part of the nation’s process towards generating clean electricity for at least the next 60 years.

The start-up of Unit 1 marks the first time that the reactor safely produces heat, which is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity. Since receipt of the operating licence from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulations (FANR) in February, and the completion of fuel assembly loading in March, the Nawah has been safely progressing through a comprehensive testing programme, prior to successfully completing the start-up of the first nuclear energy reactor of the Barakah plant.

“Today is a truly historic moment for the UAE. It is the culmination of more than a decade of vision, strategic planning and robust programme management,” said Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC.

“Despite the recent global challenges, our team has demonstrated outstanding resilience and commitment to the safe delivery of Unit 1. We are now another step closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our Nation’s electricity needs and powering its future growth with safe, reliable, and emissions-free electricity,” he added.

“The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will deliver 25 per cent 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.”

Ali Al Hammadi, CEO of Nawah, said: “The start-up of Unit 1 is a significant milestone for Nawah Energy Company as we fulfil our mandate to operate and maintain the plant in accordance with the highest international standards of safety and quality. The dedication of our people as well as our close collaboration with our Korean partners and cooperation with numerous international expert organisations has enabled this accomplishment. This reflects our commitment to upholding the highest safety, quality and operational transparency standards throughout the entire commissioning and startup process by leveraging the expertise of the global nuclear industry.

“I am especially proud of our talented Emirati engineers and nuclear professionals who contributed to the construction of Unit 1, alongside our international experts, to ensure the safe and sustainable operations of the unit for decades to come,” he added.

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