UAE Fires Up Its First Nuclear Power Reactor

  • The United Arab Emirates has begun operations at its first nuclear power plant.
  • The event was announced by leader of Abu Dhabi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in a tweet

“We proudly witness the start of Barakah nuclear power plant operations, in alignment with the highest international safety standards. Congratulations on realizing this historic achievement in the energy sector & marking this milestone in the roadmap for sustainable development,” wrote the Prince.

The plant is located on the Gulf coast just east of Qatar and nuclear fission has begun in one of its four reactors.

In December 2009, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) awarded a coalition led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), a US$20 billion bid to build the first nuclear power plant in the UAE. The first reactor was scheduled to start supplying electricity in 2017 but it has been repeatedly delayed because of safety concerns.

Uranium concentrates will be supplied by the four major nuclear energy and mining companies – Areva, Rio Tinto, Uranium One, Tenex.

There has been no official announcement on how the plant will dispose of its toxic waste. With abundant financial resources, the UAE may externalising their nuclear waste management and environmental impacts to other countries.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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