Barakah nuclear plant's first reactor reaches 80 per cent power

Once Unit 1 reaches 100 per cent capacity, it will be powered down for further testing

Barakah Nuclear Power Plant's first reactor is now operating at 80 per cent capacity.

Engineers at the facility in Abu Dhabi, the first in the Arab world, have been slowly raising the reactor power levels since it was switched on in late July.

Throughout this process, called power ascension testing, the systems of Unit 1 were closely monitored and tested to ensure they are completely safe and comply with international and national regulatory requirements.

The testing is being conducted under the oversight of the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, which carried out more than 280 inspections since the start of Barakah’s development.

These national reviews were supported by more than 40 assessments and peer reviews by the International Atomic Energy Agency and World Association of Nuclear Operators.

Once Unit 1 reaches 100 per cent power, it will be gradually shut down to carry out a check outage.

During the check outage, which takes place over a period of several months, Unit 1’s systems will be carefully examined and any planned or corrective maintenance will be performed to ensure its safety, reliability and security before beginning commercial operations.

Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in Al Dhafra, is the cornerstone of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme. It was built in partnership with the Korea Electric Power Corporation, where hundreds of Emiratis have trained.

Unit 1 was connected to the UAE power grid in August, when it began producing clean and environment-friendly electricity using nuclear energy.

It was a crucial first step in an ambitious journey with an ultimate goal to deliver 25 per cent of the UAE's electricity with zero carbon emissions for several decades.