COVID-19 won’t delay Barakah nuclear plant, says ENEC
ENEC says that the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program has and will continue to power the future social and economic growth of the nation
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said following the successful loading of fuel assemblies into the reactor, Unit 1 is at an advanced stage of start-up, while tests are still on at units 2, 3 and 4 following the completion of all construction work, said a top official.
"The Unit 1 will reach criticality very soon, and the Covid-19 pandemic has not derailed our plans. We have 700 employees working on the project to meet the timeline," said Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi.
Al Hammadi was having a virtual fireside chat recently with Frederick Kempe, President and CEO of the Atlantic Council Global Energy Centre, on the progress being made at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on energy systems, and the importance of decarbonised, reliable and secure energy systems in the future.
The online conversation was held under the theme of ‘Covid-19 and the Future of the Decarbonised Global Power System’.
The event forms part of the Atlantic Council’s evolving discussions and analysis of the impacts of Covid-19 and the state of the global energy industry.
Al Hammadi began by highlighting how the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme has and will continue to power the future social and economic growth of the nation.
The programme, he stated, was simultaneously positioning the UAE at the forefront of global efforts to decarbonise the electricity sector.
"The Barakah plant, the Arab World’s first peaceful nuclear energy facility located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, will change the way the UAE powers its growth," remarked Al Hammadi.
"Producing 5.6 gigawatts of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, the Barakah Plant will power the UAE with clean, safe and reliable baseload electricity," he stated.
"It is also providing countless high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain," he added.
Al Hammadi pointed out that the Barakah Plant and nuclear energy globally was also directly contributing to the decarbonisation of the electricity sector and the growth of electrification.
In the UAE alone, the emissions that will be prevented by the operation of the Barakah Plant are equivalent to the removal of 3.2 million cars from the nation’s road annually - this is immensely significant within the context of our efforts to combat global warming and address air pollution challenges around the world," he added.