With South Korean backing, UAE opens first of four ‘peaceful’ nuclear power reactors

Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Moon Jae-in at a ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Unit 1 reactor. Image Credit: WAM


26 March 2018 | WAM | Gulf News

Links in red added to original story by Hawkins Bay Dispatch. 

Abu Dhabi: The construction of the first of four Barakah nuclear power reactors has been completed, it was announced on Monday.

Currently, the second reactor at the Barakah nuclear power plant project is 92 per cent complete, the third 81 per cent, and the fourth 61 per cent. The overall completion rate of the entire project currently stands at 86 per cent.

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Once all four power plants are operational, the project will provide power in an environmentally friendly way, cutting out at least 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

The UAE proves day after day that it is possible to realise one’s hopes and aspirations. This is the approach of our forefathers. The will and determination we have inherited from them is what gives our people the confidence to embark on such a journey.”

 – Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

The historic announcement about the completion of the UAE’s first nuclear power reactor was made at a ceremony in Al Dhafra, Abu Dhabi, which was attended by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.

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Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region; Shaikh Tahnoun Bin Mohammad Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region, and Lt Gen Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, attended the ceremony.

During the ceremony, a video was played that documented various phases of the construction work.

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Later, Shaikh Mohammad and Moon met with officials and engineers who worked on the project, and took a commemorative photo with them.

Shaikh Mohammad said that the completion of Barakah nuclear power plant is a historic achievement for the UAE, and contributes to consolidating its prestigious position on the international map, particularly since the peaceful nuclear programme plays a pivotal role in boosting growth, diversifying the economy and securing a safe future for coming generations.


Shaikh Mohammad hailed Emirati cadres and their leading role in the project’s completion. He added that the UAE’s peaceful nuclear programme occupies a strategic status, and plays a key and vital role in supporting the nation’s growth through energy security and economic diversification.

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“Today is a historic day for the UAE’s energy sector. We are moving ahead with completing one of the most important strategic projects in the country. I was happy to be accompanied by my dear friend, the president of South Korea, as we viewed the completion of the first power plant in the peaceful Barakh project,” Shaikh Mohammad said.

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“I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to President Moon, the people of South Korea and our South Korean friends. I salute the diligent joint efforts that resulted in the completion of the first stage of this giant project,” he added.

Shaikh Mohammad said that the UAE and South Korea are ambitious countries with a converging vision and an exceptional, model relationship, adding that both nations have a productive partnership which serves their higher interests, and will receive all forms of support to grow even stronger during the coming phase, which will benefit the peoples of both countries.

“The UAE proves day after day that it is possible to realise one’s hopes and aspirations. This is the approach of our forefathers. The will and determination we have inherited from them is what gives our people the confidence to embark on such a journey,” said Shaikh Mohammad.

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Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), said that the celebration for completing the first nuclear reactor in the Barakh nuclear power plants project is a momentous occasion in the UAE’s journey of progress.

“With this achievement, the UAE joins elite countries that were able to complete an advanced project of this level, which is in accordance with the highest standards of quality and safety. This accomplishment is a testament to the wise vision of the UAE leadership, and serves as evidence of the strong partnership between Enec and Korea Electric Power Company (Kepco).

Timeline and key facts about the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant

2009: Emirates Nuclear Energy Cooperation (ENEC) launched

2010: ENEC submits license application to start construction at Barakah site for Unit 1 and Unit 2

2012: Construction work at Barakah Nuclear Power Plant starts after receiving licence approval from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR)

2013: Construction work starts for Unit 2 reactor

2014: Construction starts for Unit 3 reactor

2015: Construction starts for Unit 4 reactor

2018: Unit 1 reactor completed

2020: All four reactors to be completed

More than 1.4 million cubic yards of concrete used to build the reactors

More than 250,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel used for reactors

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