Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has successfully completed the construction of Unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the Arab World’s first nuclear energy plant, located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi. The unit has now been officially handed to Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), ENEC’s operating and maintenance subsidiary, a media release said.
The focus now shifts to completing the operational readiness preparations, testing, regulatory inspections, and international assessments required for Nawah to obtain the Operating Licence for Unit 2 from the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).
Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC said: “The completion of Unit 2 construction activities in adherence to the highest international standards of safety, security and quality, and the handover of all systems to Nawah for commissioning are important milestones that reflect the dedication and skill of everyone involved in the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. These achievements also highlight the benefits of building four identical reactors simultaneously, as the lessons learned during the construction of Unit 1 have contributed to the successful development of Units 2, 3 and 4 of the Barakah Plant.”
“The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program is an engine of social, academic and economic growth for the nation, by enhancing our energy security, diversifying our economy, and creating high-value careers opportunities for UAE Nationals. Today we are one step closer to securing a cleaner, brighter future for generations to come,” added Al Hammadi.
The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is one of the largest nuclear energy new build projects in the world, with four APR-1400 units under simultaneous construction. The APR 1400 is one of the most technologically advanced nuclear reactor designs in the world and meets the highest international standards for safety and performance. In 2019, it was certified by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The APR 1400 reactor design has robust safety systems, which ensure safe reactor shutdown, removal of decay heat, and prevention of radioactive releases.
Construction of the pant began in 2012 and has progressed steadily ever since. Construction of Units 3 and 4 are 92 percent and 85 percent complete, respectively, while the construction of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now 94 percent complete.
Once the four reactors are online, the facility will deliver clean, efficient and reliable electricity to the UAE grid for decades to come, providing around 25 percent of the country’s electricity and preventing the release of up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions annually – the equivalent of removing 3.2 million cars off the roads each year.