Wednesday, Jul 26, 2017

Billed as the world’s largest nuclear construction site, the Barakah nuclear power plant is set to turn on from next year. The first of four nuclear reactors at the plant is now 96 per cent complete. With major testing finished and enriched uranium ready to be loaded, the UAE’s first nuclear reactor will start operations in 2018. Once fully completed, the four units at Barakah will add 5.6 gigawatts of electricity to the country’s grid, without adding any greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The UAE flagship project, being built by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation, is expected to be fully operational by 2020.

With its state-of-the-art protection and advanced control systems, Barakah will be central to the country’s quest for peaceful and safe nuclear energy. Built at a cost of Dh89 billion in Al Dhafra (Western Region), the nuclear plant will eventually deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity requirements. Keeping safety at the core of its operations, the country will have access to a highly efficient and viable source of energy.

For the foreseeable future, nuclear energy is expected to play a major role in the UAE’s energy basket. Apart from being a reliable source of power, Barakah heralds a transition to zero greenhouse gas emissions and very low impact on the environment. With its competitive cost, the plant is ideally placed to take the pressure off from fossil fuels like diesel and gas (traditional sources of electrical energy), and wean off the dependence of the national economy on the oil-and-gas sector. As it continues to meet all international standards on safety and security, Barakah is perfectly poised to usher the country into a peaceful nuclear era.

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