It was in 2008 that the UAE first made the move towards formulating its nuclear energy plan.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation was launched and the country’s nuclear energy mission defined.
The UAE aimed to be the first Arab country to pursue its own peaceful nuclear power programme and, today, the first stage in that dream has been realised.
The Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, the cynosure of UAE’s advent into the nuclear power sector, is all set to go operational in its first phase.
This is testimony to the UAE’s intuitive grasp of the pivotal role played by a future-ready energy strategy in a nation’s progress and how it can enhance the well-being and health of its people
On Monday, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Energy (FANR) announced its approval of the operating licence for Unit 1 reactor at the plant.
This is a milestone moment, a historical step by the UAE on the distinguished path of the pursuit of peaceful nuclear energy, which is the privilege of just about 30 countries in the world.
The fact that the UAE, within five decades of its birth, has already made a place for itself in this fraternity is a mark of its vigour for nation-building.
After due diligence applied to the process of getting the reactor operational, along with rigorous checks for safety and security that will be conducted as per international norms, Unit 1 will begin generating 1,400 megawatt of clean energy.
This will be a critical component of the UAE’s push for a diversified energy mix to drive its development agenda over the next 50 years.
The remaining three reactor units at Barakah, when they come on stream, will together contribute 25 per cent of the UAE’s power generation, reducing C02 emissions by 21 million tonnes annually.
In a global urgency that is informing nations to review their energy priorities and their impact on economies and environmental outcomes, the UAE has always demonstrated a far-thinking ability to stay ahead of the curve.
In 2017, it launched its Energy Strategy 2050, purposing to deliver clean, secure, affordable energy in tandem with maintaining environmental integrity.
Its push for a diversified energy portfolio has been a strategic ambition over the years — and the nation has worked systematically towards this goal — as is evident in the milestone achievement of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
This is testimony to the UAE’s intuitive grasp of the pivotal role played by a future-ready energy strategy in a nation’s progress and how it can enhance the well-being and health of its people.