The UAE has successfully begun commercial operation of its second nuclear unit, Barakah 2, less than a year after the start of the first unit’s operations. Both units are now supplying 2,800 megawatts of electricity, bringing the country closer to its ambitious target of Net Zero by 2050.

“Congratulations to the UAE on its success in operating the second unit of Barakah nuclear power plant in Barakah in Abu Dhabi. I congratulate all workers, and the 1,800 Emirati engineers, operators and specialists. I also congratulate my brother, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed on this historical achievement,” His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced on Twitter. Tweeting at the same time, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said, the start of commercial operations is “an important milestone in our nation’s clean energy journey.”

The successful start of the commercial operation, as per the highest international standards of safety and quality, represents 50 per cent of the strategic goal of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)’s commitment to supply up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs — 5,600 megawatts of clean electricity, reducing carbon emissions by 22.4 million tonnes annually.

This giant step, a historic one indeed, underlines the country’s commitment to reduce its power sector’s reliance on fossil fuels and gas-fired power stations, which currently provide the UAE with more than 90 per cent of its energy.

The UAE leadership has set a Net Zero target by 2050 as part of the nation’s contribution to mitigate the risk of climate change globally. Since the start of commercial operations in 2021, unit one has already become the largest single electricity generator in the Arab world with zero carbon emission.

The Barakah plant, under the regulatory oversight of the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), is the ultimate sustainable source of power that generates clean electricity to drive the country’s sustainable development. FANR conducted more than 40 inspections covering nuclear safety, nuclear security and non-proliferation at Barakah in 2021 to ensure that it meets regulatory requirements.

With the two units fully operational, the UAE has set a global example of the use of this innovative and sustainable energy source for peaceful and development purposes. Its pioneering and transparent model, in the Middle East, is an incentive for others who may want to seek environment-friendly solutions for the energy need of the region in a transparent and peaceful manner.