The project’s key objective is to generate environmentally friendly energy to meet growing electricity demand in the country. WAM
Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, WAM
The UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme is a catalyst for growth in the UAE, providing 25 per cent of the country’s needs for clean electricity.
This project generates further energy supplies to support the national economy, and its diversification creates thousands of job opportunities and contributes to the Emiratisation of modern technologies. The announcement of the successful operation of the first reactor of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant was a historic moment for the country, which was followed-up with the announcement that the second unit has received its operational licence.
The project’s key objective is to generate environmentally friendly energy to meet growing electricity demand and create new job opportunities for Emirati citizens. However, its strategic goal is to realise the UAE’s objective to achieve, through its unique major projects, the leadership’s long-term vision to enhance the UAE’s active and influential role in advancing humanity.
The nuclear energy sector is one of the country’s aforementioned ambitions, despite the number of voices who doubted the project, stating, “Why would a country rich with oil need electricity generated by nuclear power?” However, the UAE has progressed in the implementation of the first Arab clean and sustainable nuclear energy project.
The UAE’s decisions are always based on accurate studies that predict the future and plan long-term vision. Due to this vision, the country has become an example to follow, most notably by countries that recently joined the nuclear energy sector, as it successfully built and operated its nuclear project in record time.
In 2009, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) was established to ensure the highest standards of safety, security and sustainability in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The FANR is the authority responsible for regulating the nuclear energy sector, in line with international standards, as well as for overseeing their establishment. Since the start of the project, the UAE has shown its commitment to the highest levels of transparency, by signing over 13 global nuclear energy agreements.
Over the past decade, the UAE received 11 delegations from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to monitor and assess its nuclear infrastructure, legal and regulatory framework, nuclear safety and security standards, and its readiness to handle emergencies and achieve nuclear non-proliferation.
The UAE’s peaceful nuclear programme aims to produce electricity to meet the growing energy demand, with reports pointing out that this demand has doubled. Furthermore, its key objectives include supporting economic development and providing job opportunities for Emirati citizens. Upon their full operation, the four reactors of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant will reduce carbon emissions by up to 21 million tonnes per year.
Since the initial plan to launch the programme was drafted nearly ten years ago, the key objectives of the UAE’s leadership consisted of adopting a future vision aimed at maintaining the country’s growth and prosperity, implementing a peaceful nuclear energy development policy, and establishing national authorities and institutions as part of the sector, such as FANR and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), which was established in the same year.
The UAE has cooperated with international experts in supporting the development of its peaceful nuclear programme, through exchanging the best innovative practices and expertise, to ensure the project’s sustainability and meet its commitment to the highest global standards of safety, quality and security.
The country also trained a generation of young citizens qualified to lead the national nuclear energy sector, by organising specialist academic programmes and scholarships, under the framework of the UAE Vision 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071, to create a sustainable future while providing academic and professional opportunities for qualified citizen cadres.
This comprehensive vision affirms the fact that Barakah is not just a project aimed at generating clean electricity, it is also a catalyst for development aimed at ensuring the country’s growth and prosperity.
Hans Blix, Director-General Emeritus of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, has said that the starting of operations at Abu Dhabi's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant demonstrates to the world how doable it is to shift to environmentally-friendly alternatives to generate power.
It will deliver 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity with zero carbon emissions while also supporting economic diversification by creating thousands of high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation on Wednesday announced that its operations and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company has successfully connected Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to the UAE grid.
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