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Fourth Barakah unit prepares to start up

(WNN) | Updated: 2023-12-21
2023-12-21 (WNN)

The loading of fuel into the core of unit 4 of the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE has been completed, operator Nawah Energy Company has announced.


Barakah unit 4 (Image: Nawah Energy)

Fuel loading at the unit "has been completed by Nawah in line with national regulations and the highest international standards", the company said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). "This takes us one step closer to full fleet operations at Barakah, the largest single source of clean electricity in the region."

The UAE's nuclear regulator - the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation - issued an operating licence to Nawah on 23 November, clearing the way for commissioning and commercial operation of the unit, the fourth and final unit at the Barakah plant.

With the loading of fuel now completed, Nawah will run a series of tests, prior to commencing the start-up sequence process known as power ascension testing, where operators will gradually raise the power generation levels. The unit will then be synchronised to the grid and the first megawatts of electricity will be dispatched. Following the successful completion of these tests, unit 4 will enter commercial operation.

Construction of the fourth Korean-designed APR-1400 unit at Barakah began in July 2015, three years after work began on the first Barakah unit. The first three units are now fully operational under FANR's regulatory oversight.

The UAE embarked on its plan to implement a nuclear energy programme in 2008 when its government made the decision to build and operate a nuclear power plant to provide 25% of the country's electricity needs, diversifying its energy sources and supporting its long-term energy vision and net zero goals. Construction of the first unit began in 2012, and Barakah 1 was connected to the grid in 2020.

The Barakah plant - in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi - is owned by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and operated by Nawah, a joint nuclear operations and maintenance subsidiary of the ENEC and the Korea Electric Power Corporation.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News