UAE starts up second reactor at Barakah nuclear plant

Second unit switched on within months of first reactor being activated

Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant_1

The UAE's nuclear power plant has started up its second unit, just four months after commercial operations began using the first reactor.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation and its operating subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company, said on Friday the second unit at Barakah had been switched on successfully.

"This highlights the significant progress being made in bringing the four units of the Barakah Plant online, in a safe and timely manner, to quickly decarbonise the UAE’s energy sector," a news release read.

Start-up is the first time the unit produces heat through nuclear fission. The heat is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity.

Barakah is the region’s first operational multi-unit nuclear plant.

Its power generation will significantly reduce the country's use of gas-fired power stations to generate electricity.

Once fully up and running, the four reactors will meet about 25 per cent of the country's energy needs.

"We have reached another major milestone in the delivery of the UAE's peaceful nuclear energy programme today, as part of our journey to power the UAE with clean, abundant 24/7 electricity," said Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive of Enec.

"The Barakah plant supports the sustainable growth and prosperity of the nation.

"With the start-up of Unit 2, we are now almost halfway to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our nation’s electricity needs and enabling sustainable growth and, in parallel, achieving UAE climate change targets."

Updated: August 27th 2021, 10:56 AM