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FILE - This undated photograph released by the United Arab Emirates' state-run WAM news agency, shows the under-construction Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi's Western desert. South Korean President Moon Jae-in's visit to the United Arab Emirates this week shows the Asian nation's deepening cooperation with the Gulf country, from buying its oil, building the Arabian Peninsula's first nuclear power plant and potentially backing it in war. (Arun Girija/WAM via AP, File)

UAE Issues Operating License for Arab World’s First Nuclear Plant

The United Arab Emirates has issued an operating license for the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant, a senior official at the nuclear regulator said on Monday, paving the way for it to start production later this year.

The multi-billion-dollar Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, which is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), was originally due to open in 2017, but the start-up of its first reactor has been delayed several times.

The UAE, a key OPEC oil producer, wants to diversify its energy mix, adding nuclear power to meet rising demand for electricity and to help free up more crude for export. The country wants nuclear energy to provide 6% of its total energy needs by 2050.

The license granted to the plant’s operator Nawah Energy Company will be for 60 years, Hamad al-Kaabi, deputy chairman of Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) told a news conference.

Nawah can now start preparing for commercial operations as trials will last for a few months, Kaabi said.

When completed Barakah will have four reactors with a total capacity of 5,600 megawatts (MW), and all with the same capacity. The UAE has not disclosed the total final investment in the project.

“Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating license for the first (unit of) Barakah plant,” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on his official twitter account.

 

Read the fulle article on Reuters, February 17, 2020

Issue: Energy & Environment
Country: UAE

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