The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has announced that after its operating and maintenance subsidiary Nawah Energy Company had received an operating licence from the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) the loading of fuel assemblies had begun at unit 3.

“With unit 3 now approved to operate alongside units 1 and 2, this milestone demonstrates the substantial and swift progress that has been made in developing nuclear energy as a strategically significant, clean and abundant source of electricity for the UAE, while transforming the country’s energy landscape and enhancing national energy security,” said Enec.

“The success and benefits of bringing each unit at Barakah into operation in consecutive years since unit 1 in 2020 showcase the significant benefits of developing a multi-unit nuclear energy plant in driving energy security and sustainability for nations that commit to the long-term development process of a civil nuclear programme,” said Enec Managing Director and CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi. “We are rapidly delivering a practical climate solution on the ground, enabling the UAE’s large-scale decarbonization efforts alongside its economic growth, and leading the way to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050.”

When it begins to operate at full power within the coming months, the unit 3 will add a further 1,400MWe megawatts of electricity to the national grid, similar to each of the other two units. When fully operational, the Plant will prevent 22.4 million tons of carbon emissions every year.

Construction of the $20bn Barakah NPP began in 2011 after South Korea won a tender for the project in 2009. Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco) led the consortium that is building the plant comprising four APR1400 reactors.

Image: Fuel assembly loading has begun at unit 3 of the Barakah NPP (photo courtesy of ENEC)