The United Arab Emirates announced on Saturday the commissioning of their Barakah civil nuclear power plant, the first in the Arab world.
“”We announce today that the United Arab Emirates has successfully commissioned the first reactor of the Barakah nuclear power plant, the first in the Arab world,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, Prime Minister of the Emirates and ruler of Dubai, tweeted in a letter.
“This is a historic moment for the UAE in their goal to provide a new form of clean energy to the nation,” said Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The Emirati authorities had given the go-ahead in February for the operation of the nuclear power plant in the north-west of the country, without giving a date for its commissioning.
Founded in 2016, Nawah Energy Company is to operate and maintain the four reactors to be installed there, according to the company’s website.
Construction is being carried out by a consortium led by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and South Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), at an estimated cost of $24.4 billion.
The first of the four reactors was due to be commissioned at the end of 2017, but the start date has been postponed several times to meet, according to officials, legal safety requirements.
When fully operational, the four reactors will have the capacity to produce 5,600 megawatts of electricity, about 25% of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates’ needs.
The federal state of seven emirates has a population of 9.3 million people, about 80% of whom are expatriates.