UAE's ENEC announces start up of Unit 2 of Barakah nuclear power plant
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UAE’s ENEC announces start-up of Unit 2 of Barakah nuclear power plant

UAE’s ENEC announces start-up of Unit 2 of Barakah nuclear power plant

The announcement comes within five months of the start of commercial operations of Unit 1

The UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant has started up its second unit, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company, announced on Friday.

The announcement comes a year after the start-up of Unit 1, and within five months of its start of commercial operations.

The move makes the Barakah plant the first multi-unit operating plant in the region.

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

With the experience of Unit 1 start-up, Nawah’s team of nuclear operators conducted numerous safety tests on the process and power output of the reactor.

Testing has been undertaken with the continued oversight of the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and follows the World Association of Nuclear Operator’s completion of a Pre Start-up Review, prior to receipt of the operating licence, a statement said.

In the coming months, Unit 2 will be connected to the national electricity grid and the nuclear operators will continue with a process of gradually raising the power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing.

The process will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached, while adhering to all regulatory requirements.

Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, said: “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.

“Barakah has become a case study for the successful delivery of nuclear programmes, establishing the plant as an example for other nations considering the addition of nuclear energy as part of their energy portfolio. Seven out of 10 of the world’s most sustainable nations use nuclear energy, which is not only clean, but enhances national energy security and reliability,” he added.

The nuclear plant, located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, is currently the largest single source of electricity in the UAE through the commercially operating Unit 1 of Barakah.

When fully operational, the four units of the plant will produce 5.6 gigawatts of electricity while preventing the release of more than 21 million tons of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars off the roads annually, and equivalent to those emissions from charging 7.3 billion smartphones daily.

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