(February 17, 2020 / JNS) The United Arab Emirates announced on Monday that it has issued an operating license for the first of four reactors at its Barakah nuclear power plant, which was supposed to start operations in 2017, but has been delayed due to what officials say are safety and regulatory issues, the AFP reported.
Hamad al-Kaabi, the UAE representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said, “The full operation of Barakah plant in the near future will contribute to the UAE’s efforts for development and sustainability,” adding that the operator would “undertake a period of commissioning to prepare for commercial operation.”
The UAE has large energy reserves but is looking for alternative sources of energy for its population of 10 million. When all four reactors are functioning, they are expected to provide around 25 percent of the country’s energy needs. The three other reactors are near ready to go online.
Following the announcement, Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan tweeted: “Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating license for the first Barakah plant.”
Saudi Arabia seeks up to 16 nuclear reactors, the report noted, adding that the UAE reactors are being built by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation for $24.4 billion.
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