UAE licenses second unit of Barakah nuclear power plant

DUBAI – The United Arab Emirates Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation has issued an operating licence for the second unit of the Barakah nuclear power plant, a UAE energy official said on Tuesday.

The plant in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, is the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world and part of the Gulf oil producer’s efforts to diversify its energy mix.

The licence was issued to the plant’s operator Nawah Energy Company.

Barakah’s Unit 1 was connected to the national power grid in August and in December reached 100% of reactor power capacity during testing.

Unit 1’s test period is expected to end and commercial operations are expected to begin this year, Hamad Al Kaabi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told journalists.

When completed Barakah, which is being built by Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), will have four reactors with 5,600 megawatts (MW) of total capacity.

Construction of Unit 3 is 94% complete and Unit 4 is 87% complete, Kaabi said.

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Louise Heavens and Christopher Cushing) ((;))

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