The start-up of the Baraka nuclear energy plant in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region has been delayed to the end of 2019 or early 2020, according to Nawah Energy Company, the plant’s operator.
In a statement, Nawah said it has completed a “comprehensive operational readiness review” to determine the updated start-up date.
“The results of Nawah’s review forecast that the loading of nuclear fuel assemblies required to commence nuclear operations at Barakah Unit 1 will occur between the end of 2019 and 2020,” the statement noted.
The statement added that Nawah will only begin loading nuclear fuel assemblies and initiate operations after preparations are complete and the facility has received an operating license for Unit 1 from the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation.
“Nawah’s commitment to meet the highest standards of quality and safety is the main driver for all our work,” said Mark Reddeman, Nawah CEO.
“As a result, our review relied on global nuclear standards to analyse the remaining work required for nuclear operations, and we are confident that this new projection for fuel load gives Nawah a nuclear-centric and conservative schedule to deliver nuclear operations in alignment with the highest standards of safety and quality.”
Barakah One is a joint venture between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation.
The $24.4 billion plant is the world’s largest nuclear project under construction, and the first in the Middle East and North Africa.