Construction work on UAE’s first nuclear reactor at the Barakah power plant in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra Region has been completed.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea visited the construction site on Monday to mark the occasion.
Work on the reactor, Unit 1, was carried out by UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), and is part of the UAE's plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and adopt cleaner sources of energy.
According to news reports, ENEC and KEPCO completed the construction on Unit 1 in 69 months, in strict adherence to FANR regulations.
Officials will now focus on completing the formalities and requirements to obtain the operating licence by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said, "This is a historic moment in our nation’s development. The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme will play a strategic role in the growth of our nation by enhancing our energy security, diversifying our economy, and creating employment opportunities for our people, thereby helping secure the future of generations to come."
KEPCO was appointed by ENEC to lead the prime contract for the construction of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in 2009.
"Nuclear energy will play a strategic role in the future of the Nation," said Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of ENEC. "With construction completion achieved, the UAE joins an elite group of countries that have managed to build such a complex and demanding facility to the highest standards of safety and quality. Now, our focus is on the transition to the safe start-up of Unit 1 nuclear operations."
The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the largest nuclear energy new build project in the world, with four APR-1400 units under simultaneous construction.
Construction of Units 2, 3 and 4 are 92 percent, 81 percent, and 66 percent complete respectively.
The construction of the Barakah plant as a whole is now 86 per cent complete.
The plant is expected to deliver around 25 per cent of the country’s requirements and saving up to 21mn tonnes of carbon emissions annually.