Over half of Abu Dhabi’s first nuclear power plant is already in place and its rate of progress has impressed the International Atomic Energy Agency.

More than 55 per cent of Abu Dhabi’s Unit 1 nuclear power plant has now been completed at Barakah in the west of the region and with some nuclear projects in other countries in receipt of bad publicity for costly delays in recent times the UAE example is being lauded.
“On-time and on-budget advancement of the construction work in the Barakah nuclear plant is yet another successful milestone of the UAE’s well-thought plans,” said Hamad Alkaabi, the UAE ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“After more than five years since the start-up of the UAE programme it is quite an achievement for the UAE, and the global nuclear sector, to be able to advance to such a stage in a steady and quality manner.”

Kristine Svinicki of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission said, “The UAE indeed has an inspiring story to tell about their nuclear energy project. It truly makes it a model for other nations to follow.”

Fahad Al Qahtani, Enec’s External Communications Director, said the body was hoping to pour concrete for Unit 4 next year, pending regulatory approval.

“2016 would also be the arrival and installation of the first fuel load,” said Mr Al Qahtani.

Construction of Barakah Unit 2 is also under way, with an entry into commercial operation scheduled in 2018.With four plants operational by 2020, nuclear energy is expected to deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs, saving up to 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.