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Construction of UAE's first nuclear plant reactor complete

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan says construction milestone is 'historic moment' in UAE's development

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea have announced the completion of the first nuclear plant at Barakah in Al Dhafra Region.

They visited the construction site and highlighted the importance of the milestone that sets the UAE as the first Arab country to deliver a commercial nuclear plant, as well as the first nuclear power newcomer since 1985, state news agency WAM reported on Monday.

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).

This completion is the result of the close collaboration between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and its prime contractor and joint venture partner, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

ENEC and KEPCO completed Unit 1 construction in 69 months, in strict adherence to FANR regulations.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said: "This is a historic moment in our nation’s development as we celebrate the construction completion of Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme 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, thereby helping secure the future of generations to come."

KEPCO was appointed by ENEC to lead the prime contract for the construction of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in 2009.

"Nuclear energy will play a strategic role in the future of the Nation," said Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of ENEC. "With construction completion achieved, the UAE joins an elite group of countries that have managed to build such a complex and demanding facility to the highest standards of safety and quality... Now, our focus is on the transition to the safe start-up of Unit 1 nuclear operations."

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the largest nuclear energy new build project in the world, with four APR-1400 units under simultaneous construction.

Construction of Units 2, 3 and 4 are 92 percent, 81 percent, and 66 percent complete respectively.

The construction of the Barakah plant as a whole is now 86 percent complete. Once the four reactors are online, the facility will deliver electricity to the UAE, providing around 25 percent of the country’s requirements and saving up to 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

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