Construction of Barakah 1 reactor formally accomplished

28/03/2018 15:05 Nuclear


President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan attended yesterday an event to celebrate the accomplishment of construction of the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power reactor.

Preliminary construction works of the South Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurised water reactor, built for Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) by a conglomerate managed by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), and were finalized last year. The ceremony held at the reactor site, marked the official finalization of the construction stage. The attention for Barakah 1 now shifts to completing the preparations for operation needed to obtain an operating authorization from the UAE's nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

Barakah is the first export for Korea's APR-1400, a third-generation, 1400 MWe pressurised water reactor with an exploitation lifetime of 60 years. The first APR-1400, Shin Kori unit 1, entered commercial operation in Korea in 2016. Barakah plant’s design has been adapted to meet the UAE's exceptional climate conditions and requirements of the FANR.

At present, Unit 2 is more than 92% complete, with unit 3 more than 81% complete and unit 4 more than 67% complete. All four units are planned to be finalized by 2020. According to Enec, the project’s construction was 87% complete as of the end of February. When operational, the four Barakah units will supply up to a quarter of the UAE's electricity needs.

Agneta Rising, Director General of World Nuclear Association, affirmed that the ceremony was a crucial step forward start-up of the first reactor at Barakah. She further said: "The UAE will soon benefit from the reliable supply of clean electricity that Barakah will produce. The UAE's policy of reducing electricity generation from fossil fuels by developing a mix of clean energy technologies that includes a substantial contribution from nuclear energy is one that should be embraced worldwide, including in South Korea. Using nuclear energy will help ensure the swiftest and most cost-effective transition to a clean, secure and reliable energy future."

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