Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-09-01

UAE Successfully Starts Up Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) recently announced that its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has successfully started up Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi. This step is a historic milestone in the delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, as part of the process towards generating clean electricity for the Nation for at least the next 60 years.
 
ENEC is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a diverse portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s non-oil economy. Established by decree in December 2009 by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, ENEC represents all aspects of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. ENEC is working to deliver safe, clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to the UAE – energy that is needed to support the UAE’s social and economic growth.
 
Since receipt of the Operating License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulations (FANR), UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, in February, and the completion of fuel assembly loading in March, Nawah, the Joint Venture nuclear operations and maintenance subsidiary of ENEC and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), has been safely progressing through a comprehensive testing programme, prior to successfully completing the start-up of the first nuclear energy reactor of the Barakah plant. 
 
The start-up of Unit 1 marks the first time that the reactor safely produces heat, which is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity. Nawah’s qualified and licensed team of nuclear operators focus on safely controlling the process and controlling the power output of the reactor. 
 
Promising Prosperity
Recently, ENEC also announced that Nawah, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (TRANSCO), a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA), has safely and successfully connected Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to the UAE grid, and is despatching its first megawatts of clean electricity to the Nation. During the process, the generator in Unit 1 was integrated and synchronised with the requirements of the UAE’s national electricity transmission grid.
 
Unit 1 connection, also referred to as ‘grid synchronisation’, marks the first time that clean electricity produced at the plant is delivered to the UAE national grid. 
 
With clean electricity from peaceful nuclear energy now being delivered to homes and business across the UAE, this milestone is a significant moment in the continued safe, secure, and quality-led delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program and the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.
 
H.E. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “The safe and successful connection of Unit 1 to the UAE grid marks the key moment when we begin to deliver on our mission to power the growth of the Nation by supplying clean electricity, around the clock. Grid connection of Unit 1 really is the beginning of a new era in our project, which is built upon years of preparation and adherence to the highest international safety and quality standards. 
 
He added: “We are confident in our people and our technology to continue to progress to reach commercial operations, and the completion of the remaining three units, with the goal to power up to 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity needs for at least the next 60 years. This project, in addition to the UAE’s efforts made in implementing other forms of clean power generation, delivers one of the most ambitious clean electricity transformations in the region and the world, setting the Nation on a new track of sustainable development and electrification.”
 
With the integration and connection complete, Unit 1’s nuclear operators will begin the process of gradually raising the power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT). Throughout this process, the Unit 1 systems follow international best practice to safely progress and test the unit as it proceeds towards full electricity production.
 
Electrification of Energy Sector
The UAE is the first country in the Arab World, and the 33rd nation globally, to develop a nuclear energy plant to generate safe, clean, and reliable baseload electricity. The Barakah plant is significantly contributing to the UAE’s efforts to move towards the electrification of its energy sector, and the decarbonisation of electricity production. When fully operational, the plant will produce 5.6 gigawatts of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to the removal of 3.2 million cars from the Nation’s roads annually. 
 
Since the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program commenced in 2009, ENEC has worked closely with international nuclear bodies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and WANO, in line with the robust regulatory framework of FANR. To date, more than 255 inspections have been undertaken by FANR to ensure the Barakah plant and its people and processes meet the highest standards of nuclear quality and safety. These national reviews have been supported by more than 40 assessments and peer reviews by the IAEA and WANO.
 
ENEC recently announced the construction completion of Unit 2, with operational readiness preparations now underway by Nawah. Construction of Units 3 and 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is in the final stages, with the overall construction completion of the four units now standing at 94 per cent. 
 
Reference Text/Photo:
 
 
 

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