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UAE nuclear energy plant reaches 50% power

Sep 23, 2020
4 min read
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Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), the Joint Venture nuclear operations and maintenance subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), announced that the reactor of Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has achieved 50 per cent of its electricity production capacity.

The milestone achievement was announced on the sidelines of the 64th Annual Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference in Vienna, where the UAE hosted a side event entitled ‘UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program: The Journey’.

Reaching 50 per cent power at Unit 1 of Barakah is an important step in the process of Power Ascension Testing (PAT), and comes at a historic time for the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, one month after the safe and successful completion of the synchronization of Unit 1 to the UAE transmission grid and the dispatch of the first megawatts of clean electricity from the Barakah Plant to the Nation.

His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “The UAE is now producing clean, baseload electricity through Unit 1 of the Barakah Plant, and the Unit has now achieved 50 per cent power as part of the Power Ascension Testing our teams at Nawah are currently undertaking. Safety and quality-led progress is continuing to be made across all four Units of the Plant, and we are delighted to participate in the IAEA General Conference to share the latest updates with our industry partners on this strategic clean energy infrastructure project for the UAE.”

“The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program is an engine of growth for our Nation, delivering abundant clean electricity to support the UAE’s economic diversification efforts, while in parallel contributing to the country’s climate change commitments,” added H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi.

Engineer Ali Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of Nawah, commented: “This is a proud moment for everyone involved in the delivery of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, as we mark the continued progress being made at Unit 1. We are operating Unit 1 of the Barakah Plant with an absolute commitment to safety and quality as we advance one step further towards commercial operations.”

“The PAT process is safely and successfully on track and moving ahead in line with national regulatory requirements and the highest international standards, despite the challenging environment we are all facing globally. We are pleased to be part of the 64th IAEA General Conference during such a significant time in the development of the Barakah Plant, and we look forward to announcing further achievements over the coming months as we further increase the power levels of Unit 1 and continue with our operational readiness preparations for Unit 2,” added Eng. Ali Al Hammadi.

The UAE’s participation comes as Nawah gradually raises the power levels of Unit 1 of the Barakah Plant – over a number of months – as a part of the ongoing Power Ascension Testing. Throughout this process, the Unit’s systems are tested in line with national regulatory requirements and international best practice as the operations team safely makes progress towards full electricity production. Once the process is completed, Unit 1 will enter commercial operations and deliver abundant baseload electricity for up to 18 months prior to refueling, demonstrating how efficient and reliable nuclear energy is at generating clean electricity 24/7.

The PAT is conducted under the oversight of the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulations (FANR), which has now conducted more than 280 inspections since the start of Barakah’s development. This is in addition to more than 40 missions and assessments by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).

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