UAE nuclear plant awarded licence for second reactor

The Federal Agency for Nuclear Regulation of the United Arab Emirates (Fanr) has issued a 60-year operating license for the second reactor at the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi.

Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), the operations and maintenance subsidiary of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), will now carry out the final commissioning phase in preparation for the commercial operation of Plant 2 of the facility.

The process can take up to a year.

The construction work on Block 2 was completed in July.

Block 2 completed the hot function tests (HFT) in August 2018 and the structural integrity test (SIT) and the integrated leakage rate (ILRT) in March 2019.

In 2015, Enec and Nawah submitted the 14,000-page operating license application to Fanr for the plant’s first unit. The 60-year license was only granted in February 2020.

Unit one full power capacity

The plant’s first reactor achieved an output of 100 percent in December, bringing it one step closer to the commercial operation planned for this year.

Tests have enabled the first unit of the facility to generate 1,400 MW of electricity from a single generator connected to the UAE’s grid, said Enec of Abu Dhabi on December 7th.

“The milestone accelerates the decarbonization of the UAE’s energy sector while helping diversify the UAE’s energy portfolio as it moves to cleaner power sources,” Enec said in December.

Construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant began in 2012. Construction of units three and four is in the final stages. Completion was recorded at 93% and 87% respectively.

Each of the four reactors can generate 1,400 MW of electricity.

Once the four reactors are operational, they will provide 25% of the country’s electricity.

They are expected to prevent the release of up to 21 million tons of CO2 emissions per year, the equivalent of 3.2 million cars being shut down annually.

This article is published by MEED, the world’s leading source for business intelligence on the Middle East. MEED offers exclusive news, data and analysis on the Middle East every day. To access MEED’s business intelligence in the Middle East Subscribe here.

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