02/18/2020, 13.11
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Green light for Arab world’s first nuclear power plant

For UAE leaders, this is a "historic moment". A local group working with a South Korean firm built the Barakah power plant at a cost of US.4 billion. Four reactors are expected to produce 5,600 megawatts.

Abu Dhabi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – For the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the licensing of the Barakah nuclear power plant, the first to become operational in the entire Arab world, is a “historic moment".

The permanent representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hamad Al-Kaabi, said that the Board of Directors of FANR granted the licence to the Nawah Power Company.

The plant is located in the north-western part of the country. It was expected to start in 2017, but faced a series of delays and postponements related to safety and regulatory requirements.

A consortium led by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) built the facility at a cost of US.4 billion.

For the Emirates, the plant represents a “milestone,” said al-Kaabi, that will “ensure that the UAE’s future energy needs are met.”

Last month, local authorities announced that their first reactor would be up and running in “a few months”, contributing to the country’s development and sustainability. The other three reactors are in an advance stage of construction.

When fully operational, the four reactors will produce 5,600 MW of power, meeting 25 per cent of the energy needs of the oil-rich country.

Although the Arab country has significant energy reserves, especially oil, nuclear power and renewables are expected to meet at least 27 per cent of its needs by 2021.

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