UAE nuclear plant starts up final reactor


The fourth and final reactor at the UAE's Barakah nuclear energy plant has come on line.

The start-up of Unit 4 of the plant in Al Dhafra Region, Abu Dhabi, brings the facility closer to full commercial operations.

In the coming weeks, Unit 4 will link to the national electricity grid, entering a testing phase to gradually increase its power output to full capacity.

Barakah is the first multi-unit operational nuclear plant in the Arab world, with the operational teams starting up a unit every year since 2020, demonstrating steady progress and extensive megaproject management expertise.

The plant uses four APR-1400 pressurised water reactors capable of each producing up to 1,400 megawatts of clean electricity.

Each unit has been started up more efficiently than the previous one. Unit 3 was delivered four months faster than the Unit 2 schedule, and five months faster than the Unit 1 schedule, demonstrating the significant benefit of building multiple units within a phased timeline.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), said, "In the past five years, the UAE has added more clean electricity per capita than any other nation globally, with 75 per cent coming solely from the Barakah Plant, demonstrating how pivotal nuclear energy is in decarbonising the country’s power sector."

Once the testing is complete and commercial operations begin, Unit 4 will take the total capacity of the Barakah plant to 5,600 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity to meet 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity demand.

The plant will also contribute to a quarter of the country’s carbon-reduction commitments, known as the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the United Nation’s Paris Agreement to meet global climate change goals.

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