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Fourth Unit of Barakah Nuclear Plant Successfully Starts Operations, Paving the Way for Clean Energy in the UAE

Fourth Unit of Barakah Nuclear Plant Successfully Starts Operations, Paving the Way for Clean Energy in the UAE

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced a major milestone with the successful start-up of Unit 4 at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. This achievement signifies a significant step forward in the UAE’s journey towards clean and sustainable energy production.

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in Abu Dhabi, has seen the successful initiation of the reactor in its fourth and final unit. This marks the first time Unit 4 has generated heat through nuclear fission, a crucial process in producing electricity. The generated heat is utilized to create steam, which in turn powers turbines to generate electricity.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive of ENEC, expressed pride in this achievement, highlighting the importance of nuclear energy in the UAE’s efforts to decarbonize its power sector. He emphasized the nation’s commitment to sustainable economic and environmental prosperity through the deployment of civil nuclear energy.

Unit 4 is now set to be connected to the national energy grid in the coming weeks, entering a testing phase where its power output will gradually increase to full capacity. Once testing is complete, commercial operations will commence, adding 5,600 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity to meet 25% of the UAE’s electricity demand.

This announcement comes at a pivotal time, following the signing of a historic accord at the Cop28 climate change conference in Dubai, where nations committed to reducing fossil fuel use. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant plays a crucial role in achieving these goals, with Unit 4 contributing significantly to the UAE’s clean energy targets.

The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) issued the first operating license for Unit 1 at the Barakah Plant in February 2020, followed by another for Unit 2 in March 2021. Commercial operations began at Unit 1 in April 2021, effectively preventing the release of more than five million tonnes of carbon emissions in its first year alone.

By 2025, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is expected to produce 85% of Abu Dhabi’s clean electricity, making it the largest contributor to reducing the national power sector’s carbon emissions. This underscores the critical role of nuclear power in achieving sustainability and combating climate change.

Nuclear energy is recognized as a clean and efficient alternative to fossil fuels, as it does not produce harmful emissions like oil and gas. With the successful start-up of Unit 4 at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the UAE is poised to lead the way in clean energy production, setting a benchmark for sustainable development in the region and beyond.

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