Milestone highlights the significant progress being made in bringing the four units of the Barakah Plant online in a safe and timely manner, to quickly decarbonise the UAE’s energy sector
Unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has been successfully powered up according to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC). The nuclear power plant is located in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi and is being operated and maintained by ENEC subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah).
According to a statement from ENEC, the milestone was achieved a day before Emirati Women’s Day, with female Emirati nuclear reactor operators joining the crew that successfully initiated start-up for Unit 2. The move is said to reflect the leading role that female UAE nationals are playing in the country’s peaceful nuclear energy program and clean electricity transition.
“We have reached another major milestone in the delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program today, as part of our journey to power the country with clean, abundant 24/7 electricity. The Barakah Plant supports the sustainable growth and prosperity of the nation,” explained ENEC CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi.
He added, “With the start-up of Unit 2, we are now almost halfway to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our country’s electricity needs and enabling sustainable growth and in parallel, achieving UAE climate change targets. We are proud of the leading role that Emirati women have played in achieving continuous progress at Barakah and it is a timely moment to start-up Unit 2 as the nation begins to celebrate Emirati Women’s Day.”
Nawah and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) have been safely progressing through a comprehensive testing programme, prior to successfully completing the start-up of the second nuclear energy reactor of the Barakah Plant, the statement added.
Nawah CEO Ali Al Hammadi remarked, “It is another momentous occasion for the Barakah Plant, and we congratulate our talented team for completing the safe and successful start-up of Unit 2. Preparations will now continue as we work safely and steadily towards grid connection and eventually the start of commercial operations for the second unit of the Barakah Plant. We remain committed to ensuring nuclear operational excellence across all of the units, and we thank our partners in the UAE and across the globe for their continuous support in helping us achieve these milestones to the highest operating standards.”
In the coming months, Unit 2 will be connected to the national electricity grid and the nuclear operators will continue with a process of gradually raising the power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT). The process will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached, while adhering to all regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security, the statement noted.
When fully operational, the four units of the plant will produce 5.6 gigawatts (GW) of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21m tons of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to removing 3.2m cars off the roads annually.