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Unit 1 of UAE’s Barakah nuclear energy plant achieves 100% power capacity

Unit 1 of UAE’s Barakah nuclear energy plant achieves 100% power capacity

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the largest source of clean baseload electricity in the country

The Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has achieved 100 per cent of its rated reactor power capacity, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) has confirmed.

Achieving 100 per cent capacity suggests that the UAE is generating 1400MW of electricity from a single generator connected to the national grid. This milestone makes the Unit 1 generator the largest single source of electricity in the UAE, and brings it closer to commencing commercial operations, scheduled for early 2021.

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the largest source of clean baseload electricity in the country. This achievement also accelerates the decarbonisation of the UAE power sector.

“We are proud to deliver on our commitment to power the growth of the UAE with safe, clean and abundant electricity,” said Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of ENEC. “Unit 1 marks a new era for the power sector and the future of the clean carbon economy of the nation, with the largest source of electricity now being generated without any emissions.”

Nawah, the operations and maintenance subsidiary of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), is responsible for operating Unit 1 and for safely raising power levels since it commenced the start-up process in July, and connection to the grid in August.

Read: UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant connects to the national grid

Achieving 100 per cent power is one of the final steps of the Power Ascension Testing (PAT) phase of the start-up process for Unit 1. Nawah’s nuclear operators will carry out a series of tests before the reactor is safely shut down in preparation for the Check Outage. During this period, the Unit 1 systems will be examined, and any corrective maintenance will be performed to maintain its safety and reliability ahead of commercial operations.

Ali Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of Nawah, said: “This is a key achievement for the UAE, as we safely work through the start-up process for Unit 1 of the Barakah plant. Successfully reaching 100 per cent of the rated power capacity in a safe and controlled manner, undertaken by our highly trained and certified nuclear operators, demonstrates our commitment to safe, secure and sustainable operations as we now advance towards our final maintenance activities and prepare for commercial operations in 2021.”

The Power Ascension Testing of Unit 1 is overseen by the independent national regulator – the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), which has conducted 287 inspections since the start of Barakah’s development. These reviews have been conducted simultaneously with over 40 assessments and peer reviews by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).

Barakah One Company, ENEC’s subsidiary in charge of the financial and commercial activities of the Barakah project, signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the Emirates Water and Electricity Company (EWEC) in 2016 to purchase all of the electricity generated at the plant for the next 60 years.

Once the four reactors are online, Barakah Plant will deliver clean electricity to the UAE grid, providing around 25 per cent of the country’s electricity and preventing the release of up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions annually.

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