First UAE Nuclear Reactor by 2017

First UAE Nuclear Reactor by 2017First UAE Nuclear Reactor by 2017

The first of four reactors to be built at the Barakah nuclear plant is 61 per cent complete, and on course to be completed by 2017, according to Reuters.

The project, which is valued at $20bn and funded by the Abu Dhabi government, is expected to provide up to 24 per cent of the UAE’s overall energy by 2020, says Mohamed Al Hammadi, the CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC).

In December 2009, Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) was awarded the contract to build each of the four 1,400MW nuclear reactors.

Soaring energy costs are behind the UAE’s efforts to diversify its energy mix, according to Hammadi. As such, the country will be the first among Gulf states to build a nuclear power plant that will generate power.

The UAE, in 2009, had signed an agreement with the US in which it “Forfeited its right to enrich uranium domestically,” according to Reuters.

The second reactor to be built at Barakah is nearing 50 per cent completion, while work has already began on the third and fourth blocks, which gained regulatory approval in October 2014, the report concludes.