UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant still ‘on schedule’ despite coronavirus, says CEO

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The United Arab Emirates’ Nuclear Energy Corporation CEO said on Wednesday that the coronavirus crisis has not impacted operational timetable of the country’s first nuclear plant.

Mohamed Al Hammadi said in a webinar that “everything is on schedule” for Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.


Barakah nuclear power plant is the UAE’s first nuclear plant.

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Located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, construction began in July 2012, with the launch ceremony held in March 2011.

The plant is set to have a capacity of 5,600 MW (5.6 GW), according to the Power Technology website. This capacity will be divided between four units of 1,400MW each.

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Loading timelime

The UAE began loading the first nuclear fuel assemblies of Barakah's Unit 1 on February 17. Nawah Energy Company, which was issued the operating license for the reactor by the country’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), began loading as an initial step towards commencing the plant’s operation.

Nawah then began a series of tests and gradually ramp up the reactor. It is during this process that the plant will begin to be synchronized to the grid and deliver electricity.

Speaking in February, Mark Reddemann, Nawah Chief Executive Officer, said: “Receiving the operating license for Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is a significant milestone for Nawah Energy Company as it becomes the latest operator to join the global nuclear community.”

The plant successfully completed fuel assembly loading into unit one in March 2020, marking the commissioning of nuclear operations, said Power Technology.

The plant's other three units are entering the final stages of construction, the website added. Unit 2 is over 95 percent complete, unit 3 is over 91 percent complete, and unit 4 is over 83 percent complete.

"The next step of operating the nuclear power plant is the power ascension testing (PAT) process, which will involve safe and gradual testing of the first unit system to begin full electricity production," wrote Power Technology.

Read more:

UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant begins fuel loading

UAE’s nuclear regulator issues operating license for Barakah plant

With Reuters

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