United Arab Emirates has started loading fuel rods into the first reactor at its Barakah Nuclear plant, operators told international media on Wednesday. The Barakah is UAE’s first Nuclear Power Plant and received an operating licence on February 17.
The plant was scheduled to go functional back in 2017 but the operations got delayed due to what officials attributed to the security and regulatory requirements. However, Nawah CEO Merk Reddemann recently said that his teams are trained, certified and ready to safely commence the testing and start-up process for unit 1, international media reported. The Nawah Energy Company said in a statement that it had started loading the first nuclear fuel assemblies as the initial step in the process towards safely and gradually commencing operations and subsequent generation of clean electricity.
The statement added that Unit 1 will begin the commercial operations after a series of tests leading to the start-up process.The statement further revealed that during the process the units will be synchronized with the power grid and the first electricity produced, international media reported.
Barakah nuclear power plant, the first nuclear power station in the Gulf region, is currently under construction and will have four reactors with a total capacity of 5,600 megawatts (MW). Taking to Twitter, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, called it a “new chapter” in the journey of “peaceful nuclear energy”.
Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating license for the first Barakah plant. As we prepare for the next 50 years to safeguard our needs, our biggest strength is national talent.— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) February 17, 2020