The United Arab Emirates has announced that the country’s first nuclear power plant, the Barakah plant in Abu Dhabi, has been given approval to operate, making it the first such facility to deploy in the Arab world. A senior official at the UAE’s nuclear regulator said that the licence would be granted to plant operator Nawah Energy Company for 60 years.
The Barakah nuclear power plant is expected to begin generating power within a few months.
Hamad al-Kaabi, Deputy Chairman of the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), said: “This milestone was achieved due to the UAE’s vision and its leadership to build a peaceful nuclear energy programme to cater for the future energy needs in the country.”
Christer Viktorsson, Director General of FANR, said that the licence would allow Nawah to begin loading nuclear fuel into the reactor, which will take 2-3 weeks. Following that, Nawah will perform tests and then will be able to start production by May or June of this year. He added that reaching the reactor’s full production capacity would take 8-12 months.
Barakah is being constructed by Korea Electric Power Corporation.