Nuclear plant work in progress with 2017 target

All around the world people are working to bring nuclear power to the Arab world for the first time.

In Abu Dhabi's remote coastal outpost of Baraka, 4,000 people are at work on the infrastructure needed to bring nuclear power to the Arab world for the first time.

The emirate hopes to produce up to a quarter of its electricity with the US$20 billion (Dh73.46bn) plant, with the first of four Korean-designed reactors scheduled to go live within six years.

"The client wants electrons in 2017," said Lee McIntire, the chairman and chief executive of CH2M Hill, the Colorado company helping to manage the programme. "That's the goal and it still appears to be very much on track."

From Denver in Colorado to Seoul, work is progressing.

Meanwhile, the board of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), the government-owned company that will operate the plant alongside Korea Electric Power Company, travelled to South Korea this month for an update on the construction of reactors there.

On the regulatory side, a team spanning the US, France and the UAE is reviewing Enec's 9,000-page construction application. The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE's independent regulator, could issue a decision on the plans as soon as mid-year.

Scholarships sponsored by Enec and FANR are recruiting high-achieving students to study science and nuclear engineering.

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Published: February 13, 2012 04:00 AM


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