Fuel loading of Unit 4 of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant complete says ENEC

The plant boasts four APR-1400 units marking it as one of the largest nuclear energy facilities globally

The process of loading fuel into Unit 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, in line with all national regulations and the highest international standards has been completed by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) subsidiary Nawah Energy Company (Nawah).

According to a statement, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, recently issued the Operating License for Unit 4 to Nawah. This milestone is said to take the UAE one step closer to full fleet operations at Barakah, the largest single source of clean electricity in the region.

Once operational, the final unit of the plant will enable the facility to generate 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs around the clock for the next sixty years. The three current commercially operating units at Barakah, delivered in three consecutive years, are already generating more than 30TWh of zero-emission electricity every year.

Unit 4 will raise the Barakah Plant’s total clean electricity generation capacity to 5.6GW, delivering more than 40TWh of clean electricity per year, once commercial operations begin. Barakah is already preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions, the leading cause of climate change, every year, the statement noted.

ENEC said that the operations team will now move through a comprehensive testing program, prior to successfully completing the start-up of Unit 4. Testing is undertaken under the continued oversight of FANR. Once Unit 4 is connected to the national electricity grid, the operations team will continue with the process of gradually raising power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT). The phase 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.

With Unit 4 due to start up in 2024, ENEC said it is now focused on capitalising on the full value of the UAE’s investment in the nuclear energy sector, working closely with key global partners and technology companies to identify the right technology and meet the growing demand for clean electricity and molecules.

ENEC said it is also focused on evaluating the latest technologies in the advanced, Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and microreactor categories. These solutions can generate clean electrons and molecules, such as steam, hydrogen and ammonia, as well as process heat for industrial processes. ENEC is working with national stakeholders to determine deployment pathways, and with international partners for both technology and project collaboration opportunities.

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