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UAE Issues Operating Licence For Arabian Peninsula’s First Nuclear Plant

Barakah nuclear power plant

The Barakah nuclear power plant is the United Arab Emirates’s first nuclear power station, the first nuclear power station in the Arabian Peninsula, and the first commercial nuclear power station in the Arab World. Rebus had the opportunity to be part of this historic project, Barakah Nuclear Power Plant PPS-I as the contractor’s Turnover (Closeout) lead/consultant.

On 17/02/2020, the national nuclear regulator (UAE) announced it has issued the operating license for the first of the plant’s four reactors, opening the way for commercial operations to begin.

The Barakah plant, located on the Gulf coast west of the UAE’s capital, had been due to come online in late 2017 but faced a number of delays that officials attributed to safety and regulatory requirements. Abu Dhabi authorities said in January that the plant would start operating within a few months.

The UAE, a key OPEC oil producer, wants to diversify its energy mix, adding nuclear power to meet rising demand for electricity and to help free up more crude for export. The country wants nuclear energy to provide 6 per cent of its total energy needs by 2050.

Located 53km from the city of Ruwais, the plant is being developed jointly by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).