Nawah starts Unit 1 of Barakah nuclear energy plant in UAE

Nawah Energy has started operations at Unit 1 of the Barakah nuclear energy plant, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Located in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi, the 5.6GW nuclear plant includes four units.

Nawah Energy is a joint venture between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation. The unit received its operating license from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation in February this year, allowing it to start operating.

Unit 1 was first loaded with fuel in March. Construction of the unit began in 2012 and was completed in 2018.

ENEC said Unit 1 will connect to the UAE’s electricity grid. After it is linked, operators intend to increase the power levels gradually, which is known as Power Ascension Testing.

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

“Through the realisation of the vision of our leadership, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has become an engine of growth for the nation. It will deliver 25% 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.”

A company spokesperson said the opening process was in line with regulatory requirements and the highest international standards for nuclear quality and safety.

Nawah CEO Ali Al Hammadi 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 organizations has enabled this accomplishment.” Last month, Emirates Nuclear Energy completed construction of Unit 2 at the nuclear plant in the UAE.