Barakah: A praiseworthy feat that brings cheer - GulfToday

Barakah: A praiseworthy feat that brings cheer


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The start of Unit 1 operations of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has emphatically shown that nuclear energy can also be channelled for peaceful purposes. And the UAE has shown that in remarkably praiseworthy fashion.

Amid the all-encompassing gloom of the coronavirus pandemic, the nation’s feat has emerged as a ray of sunshine – and optimism. The start-up of Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafrah Region of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, UAE, has sent ripples of joy across the nation, including leaders from overseas who are ecstatic over this landmark feat.

This step is the most historic milestone to date in the delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme, as part of the process towards generating clean electricity for the nation for at least the next 60 years. The start-up of Unit 1 marks the first time that the reactor safely produces heat, which is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity. Nawah’s qualified and licensed team of nuclear operators focus on safely controlling the process and controlling the power output of the reactor. After several weeks and conducting numerous safety tests, Unit 1 will be ready to connect to the UAE’s electricity grid, delivering the first megawatts of clean electricity to the homes and businesses of the nation.

Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “Today is a truly historic moment for the UAE. It is the culmination of more than a decade of vision, strategic planning and robust programme management. Despite the recent global challenges, our team has demonstrated outstanding resilience and commitment to the safe delivery of Unit 1. We are now another step closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our nation’s electricity needs and powering its future growth with safe, reliable, and emissions-free electricity. “

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant embodies a path of hard and ambitious work toward hitting new milestones in the UAE’s track record of achievements. It also reflects the nation’s rigorous planning for sustainable development and inclusive growth.

Since the establishment of the UAE’s peaceful nuclear programme more than a decade ago, Emirati cadres have received advanced training to be capable of carrying out their duties in all phases of the project, from construction to operation.  Today, Emirati citizens account for 60 per cent of the employees in Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and its subsidiary companies, the Nawah Energy Company and the Barakah One Company; and the number of Senior Reactor Operators and Reactor Operators is 72, including 30 Emiratis. The four units at Barakah will be able to generate up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity by producing 5,600 MW of clean electricity, preventing the release of 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year. This is equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars off the roads annually.

The UAE is the first country in the Arab World, and the 33rd nation globally, to develop a nuclear energy plant to generate safe, clean, and reliable baseload electricity.

The UAE is committed to upholding its 2008 nuclear policy principles of transparency, safety and security, sustainability and international cooperation . Throughout, the systems of Unit 1 are continuously monitored and tested as the unit proceeds towards full electricity production in line with all regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security. Once the process is completed over the course of a number of months, the plant will deliver abundant baseload electricity at full capacity to power the growth and prosperity of the UAE for decades to come.

That is highly welcome news which will bring cheer to everybody in this nation.

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