Photo used for illustrative purposes.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP) 2021, the region’s first-ever international conference on nuclear energy, organised by Khalifa University of Science and Technology, opened on 17 October in Abu Dhabi, with global nuclear energy leaders commending the UAE for successfully starting the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant Unit 1, the first nuclear power project in the UAE and first in the Arab world.
Ambassador Hamad AlKaabi, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Honorary Chair, ICAPP 2021, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University; Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and CEO, ENEC, attended the conference along with representatives from UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), industry experts, stakeholders, and global leaders from the nuclear energy community.
Co-sponsored by Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, as well as the American, French, Korean and Japanese nuclear societies, ICAPP 2021 provides a forum for leaders of the nuclear community to exchange information, present results from their work, review the status of the industry and discuss future directions and needs for the deployment of new nuclear power plant systems around the world.
In his welcome address, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi said: “We are proud to host the International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP) 2021 in partnership with our sponsors and highlight the success of the UAE in establishing and successfully operating a nuclear power facility, the first in the Arab world. Together with the global nuclear energy community, we also strongly support the role of nuclear power in achieving the net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal, by ensuring consistent energy supply, and a wider integration of renewables to drive the clean energy transition.”
“Moreover, our campus is also home to Emirates Nuclear Technology Centre (ENTC), which supports the UAE’s nuclear power programme and delivers the key stakeholders goals for safe, clean and efficient nuclear energy to meet the targets of Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030 and the UAE National Energy Strategy 2050. We are proud to be the sole academic partner for ENEC from the early stages of the UAE’s nuclear energy industry, and we are privileged to serve as the training arm for the nuclear energy industry in the UAE. As the first university in the UAE to offer a Master’s and PhD programmes in Nuclear Engineering, Khalifa University remains committed to developing human capital, facilitating knowledge-sharing in this strategic area.”
Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and CEO, ENEC, said: “Nuclear energy is a significant pillar of the UAE’s long-term energy mix and will be for decades to come. The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme is an important demonstration that nuclear projects can be delivered and operated safely and in a cost-efficient manner. In fact, nuclear energy is a key contributor to a country’s net-zero sustainable development. Today, nuclear and renewables are working together to generate clean electricity in the UAE with Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, already commercially operational. It is the single largest electricity generator in the Arab World, delivering clean electricity 24/7, and leading the largest decarbonization effort in the region.”
“Beyond clean and abundant electricity, Barakah is powering the UAE’s sustainable growth. By creating high-tech industries, and high-value local nuclear supply chains, Barakah is a bridge to new R&D opportunities such as clean hydrogen production, sustainable agriculture and deep space exploration.
“Over the next 50 or more years, we will build on these successes and establish a truly knowledge-based net-zero economy using nuclear technology.” Al Hammadi added.
Sama Bilbao y León, Director-General, World Nuclear Association (WNA), delivered the first plenary titled “New Builds: The Legacy Continues”.
Nasser Al Nasseri, Chief Executive Officer, Barakah One Company, UAE, delivered a talk on ‘Successfully Financing Nuclear New Build Projects’.
Delegates will have virtual visits to the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant , the first multi-unit operating nuclear plant in the UAE and Arab World. Unit 1 started commercial operations in April 2021, and Unit 2 was connected to the UAE electricity grid in September 2021, with two further units to come on line in the coming years, generating up to 25% of the UAE electricity when fully operational.
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Summary: "Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating licence for the first Barakah plant," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said in a tweet
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, ENEC, announced on Tuesday that, following the successful completion of fuel assembly loading into Unit 1, the UAE has officially become a peaceful nuclear energy operating nation.
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