Commercial operation of unit 1 at the UAE's Barakah NPP began on 6 April. “We are grateful to those who made this possible and thank them for their diligence and hard work,” said Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. "The start of commercial operations at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is an historic milestone for the UAE that significantly enhances the sustainability of our entire power sector," he said.
The 1400 MWe APR1400 reactor is now providing constant, reliable and electricity around the clock. "The UAE set a clear roadmap with solid principles to ensure this project’s development in accordance with the highest international industry standards of safety and quality with full transparency," said Khaldoon Al Mubarak, chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec). "Our investment in pioneering technologies and the decarbonisation of our electricity production not only advances the UAE’s clean energy leadership but also produces tangible socioeconomic and environmental benefits. We congratulate all of our partners as we continue to support the prosperity and sustainable growth of our country," he added.
Construction of the $20 billion 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. Construction of unit 1 began in July 2012, unit 2 in May 2013, unit 3 in September 2014 and unit 4 in September 2015. Unit 3 is now 94% complete, unit 4 is 87% complete and the NPP overall is more than 95% complete. Unit 1 was completed in 2018 and expects to begin commercial operation this year. The Nawah Energy Company, the operations and maintenance subsidiary of Enec, on 23 March confirmed that it had completed loading the fuel assemblies into the unit 2 and would begin a series of tests, before beginning the start-up sequence process known as power ascension testing, after which the unit would be synchronised to the grid. With all four units operating, the NPP will supply up to 25% of the UAE's electricity.