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Fourth nuclear reactor at Barakah in UAE completed

The fourth reactor at the Barakah plant is completed and expected to provide power to the grid in 2024 Wam
The fourth reactor at the Barakah plant is completed and expected to provide power to the grid in 2024
  • Comes online in 2024
  • UAE aims to treble nuclear capacity

Work on the fourth and final reactor at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi has been completed, its operator said on Tuesday.

Nawah Energy Company announced it has completed the process of loading fuel assemblies into Unit 4 at Barakah, just weeks after the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation issued the operating licence. 

Once operational, Unit 4 will enable the plant to generate 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity needs around the clock for the next 60 years.

Once Unit 4 is connected to the national electricity grid, the operations team will continue to gradually raise power levels, with operations scheduled to start in early 2024.

Located 53km from the city of Ruwais, the $32 billion Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is being developed by Barakah One – a joint venture between Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation.

Commercial operations began at Unit 1 at Barakah in April 2021.   

Increased capacity

The UAE was one of 21 countries to pledge to treble global nuclear capacity by 2050 during the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai.

The UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the parent company of Nawah, has also signed an agreement with China National Nuclear Corporation to explore development and co-investment opportunities around the world. 

The two entities will identify countries looking to expand their nuclear energy capacity, or to enter into the nuclear energy sector for the first time to offer their expertise.

The average time it takes to build a nuclear power plant is 7.5 years – before it is connected to the grid. This compares with around 12 to 18 months for solar plants. 

Francesco La Camera, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency told AGBI earlier this month that nuclear energy will not help the world meet its urgent target to limit global warming: “Nuclear does not serve the climate change agenda because it arrives too late.”

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