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Key component arrives at UAE nuclear plant site

First nuclear energy Reactor Vessel (RV) reaches Barakah site.

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An image of construction work at Barakah.
An image of construction work at Barakah.

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The UAE’s first nuclear energy Reactor Vessel (RV) has arrived at Barakah, the site of the UAE’s four planned nuclear plants.

The RV is one of the most important features and largest components in a nuclear energy plant. Inside the vessel, controlled nuclear reactions release energy that will be transformed into electricity for the national grid.

H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, and President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday were at the ceremony to mark the vessel’s arrival.

“Peaceful nuclear energy plays a significant role in the future of our nation as these plants will provide us with electricity which we need to fulfill our needs," said H.H. Sheikh Mansour.

“In addition, the programme will provide many important opportunities for our national human resources, and will improve their skills and knowledge in order to contribute to the UAE’s economic prosperity.”

In 2009, ENEC awarded the Prime Contract to construct the plants to a consortium led by the Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO).

Together, ENEC and KEPCO have made significant progress on the construction of the plants, with works for Units 1 and 2 now 44% complete, with construction progressing safely and on schedule.

ENEC has been granted approval for additional civil works for Barakah Units 3 and 4 under its Limited Construction License. This approval will help to ensure that the units remain on schedule to enter commercial operations in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Unit 1 is scheduled to enter commercial operations in 2017, and Unit 2 is scheduled for operations in 2018, pending regulatory approvals.

ENEC will apply for an Operating License for Units 1 and 2 in 2015 and is on track to break ground for the third plant later this year.

With four plants operational by 2020, nuclear energy will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity. 

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