Published: Tue, March 27, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

UAE Completes First of Four Korean-Built Nuclear Plants

UAE Completes First of Four Korean-Built Nuclear Plants

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended the ceremony marking the completion of construction of the first unit at the Barakah nuclear plant.

The Korean official, who declined to be named due to briefing rules, was speaking after sources told Reuters last week the start-up had been pushed back to 2019 due to training delays.

The Emirati reactor, the first in the Arab world, is one of four which are being built in the country's Barakah nuclear power plant.

Ahead of the opening ceremony President Moon commented that the success of the Barakah nuclear power plant could be said to be the joint success of South Korea and the UAE and that he would visit the plant to see the potential for expanding collaboration in the nuclear power sector. The other three reactors are set to be completed before the end of the year, according to the South Korean presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

ENEC board of directors' chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak was quoted by Emirates news agency WAM as saying: "Nuclear energy will play a strategic role in the future of the Nation".

Adhering to the highest safety and quality standards, Enec and Kepco completed the Unit 1 construction in 69 months.

It is estimated that, when completed, the plants will produce a combined 5,600 megawatts of power, contributing nearly 25 per cent of the nation's electricity. "Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program will play a strategic role in the growth of our nation by enhancing our energy security, diversifying our economy, and creating employment opportunities for our people".

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the largest nuclear energy new build project in the world, with four APR1400 units under simultaneous construction.

It said Unit 1 has cleared the construction phase, and the project now shifts its focus to completing operational readiness preparations required to obtain the approval of the operating licence by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

In addition to Fanr's review process, Unit 1 and its operating team are undergoing a number of assessments by independent global nuclear energy experts from the worldwide Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (Wano).

The second reactor is 92 percent complete, the third is 81 percent while the fourth is 66 percent completed, and the construction of the Barakah plant as a whole is now 86 percent complete.

All four units at Barakah are scheduled for completion by 2020.

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