The United Arab Emirates said on March 26, 2018 that one of the four nuclear reactors at its debut nuclear power plant has been completed.
With this development, UAE moves closer to becoming the first Arab nation to produce atomic power. The announcement came after visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed toured the $20-billion Barakah plant.
The achievement is historical for the energy sector of UAE, which is rich in oil and gas but is looking to increase other sources of power.
With the development, nuclear and renewables, which currently make up a small portion of UAE’s energy sources, are slated to contribute around 27 percent to the country’s electricity needs by 2021.
• The UAE previously announced the first reactor would start operations in 2017 before delaying the start date.
• The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, which is overseeing the nuclear programme, is awaiting the approvals from the regulatory authority to start operating.
• While the second reactor is 92 percent complete, the third is 81 percent complete and the fourth is 66 percent complete.
• When fully operational, the four reactors will produce 5,600 megawatts of electricity, or around 25 percent of the country's needs.
About Barakah nuclear plant
• The nuclear power plant is UAE’s first nuclear power station.
• Located in the west of Abu Dhabi, it is being constructed by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
• The plant’s four APR-1400 nuclear reactors are planned to start operation successively between 2018 and 2020.
Besides UAE, Saudi Arabia- the world's top crude oil exporter, has also accelerated plans to acquire nuclear energy and is expected to prequalify several international companies next month to bid for building two nuclear reactors.