Nuclear power in your home next year, Inshallah!

By Angel Chan

National Energy Strategy 2050 gives priority to nuclear energy

ABU DHABI 30 September 2017: If all requirements are met, the UAE will start using nuclear power to provide electricity to homes by next year, according to top officials.

Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy, said that the National Energy Strategy 2050 gives priority to nuclear energy and aims to promote the use of environmentally-friendly energy, reducing dependence on other sources of fuel over the next three decades, said Wam.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), is constructing the county’s first nuclear power plant, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi. The plant consists of four reactors with a combined capacity of 5,600 MW.

Unit 1 is scheduled to commence operations in 2018, pending regulatory approvals from the national regulator, FANR , which makes the the UAE the first country to implement a new peaceful nuclear energy programme in three decades.

barakh nuclear plant

Barakh Plant Update

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the largest nuclear project currently under construction globally. Currently, around 16,000 construction workers are working at the Barakah site to build the four units in accordance with the highest standards of nuclear quality and safety.

Enec has selected third-generation APR1400 technology, a pressurised water reactor with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts and an operational life of 60 years. The design combines the latest safety, performance and proven efficiency after decades of operation, and the design is based on the 80+ reactors approved by the US Nuclear Energy Commission in the United States.

The completion rate for the first unit is now more than 96 per cent, the second unit 86 per cent, the third unit 76 per cent and the fourth unit 54 per cent, and the overall completion rate is more than 82 per cent as of the end of July, 2017.

The minister said that the UAE is confident that nuclear energy is the best choice to meet the growing demand for energy and is working to build a nuclear energy plant that will contribute to meeting the country’s electricity needs and support the goals of sustainable development.

To cope with the rapid growth of the economy and the high demand for electricity at large rates, the UAE has embarked on a peaceful nuclear energy programme. The conditions surrounding the use of nuclear energy are still developing internationally, with an increasing number of countries seeing nuclear power playing a key role in addressing climate change and contributing to sustainable development. There are already 30 countries using nuclear power and a further 30 countries have expressed interest in pursuing nuclear energy.


Global Conference

Al Mazrouei said that Abu Dhabi’s hosting of the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century is an recognition of the successful efforts of the UAE and its leading international position in the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme.

Al Mazrouei re-affirmed the UAE’s commitment to dialogue and discussion with all countries on the challenges facing the nuclear energy sector and dealing with pressing issues such as climate change, and reaching recommendations to urge countries to adopt peaceful nuclear energy technologies, and use these technologies to serve their respective communities.

“The agenda of the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, which is being held under the auspices of the Ministry and organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in cooperation with the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), aims to strengthen the UAE’s position as a leader in the energy sector at the global level, while at the same time be in line with our long-term goals, established by the nation’s wise leadership, and laid out in UAE Vision 2021 and the National Agenda.”

The minister added that the forum is an ideal platform for gathering experts and energy professionals from around the world to discuss recent trends in energy markets and their impact on the sector, and to discuss ways of cooperation between the public and private sectors to ensure the sustainability of the natural resources, and achieving sustainable development.

The conference, which will be attended by high-level international ministers and experts, aims to promote interactive dialogue and exchange of ideas on the role of nuclear energy in meeting future energy demand, contributing to sustainable development, moderating the effects of climate change and exchanging views on key issues that are key to nuclear energy development.


During the four panel discussions, speakers will discuss various views and put forward solutions, followed by a question and answer session with two presentations focusing on ‘Women’s Role in Nuclear Energy’ and ‘Investing in Nuclear Energy Technology’.

Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, permanent representative of the UAE to the International Atomic Energy Agency and President of the Conference, expects to receive about 500 international experts and officials from the IAEA member states at the conference. He also stressed the importance of the conference to the UAE, a country that plays an active and positive role today in the global nuclear policies.

He added that UAE’s global recognition in this field is linked to its successful efforts and responsible approach in the development of the national nuclear programme, which is a model for many countries interested in the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

On cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ambassador Al Kaabi praised the fruitful strategic partnership between the UAE and the agency which, he said, contributed to the success of the UAE in developing the programme’s infrastructure in line with the agency’s standards and international best practices, covering various areas including legal frameworks and institutional and human infrastructure to ensure the highest standards in nuclear safety, nuclear security and non-proliferation.