Photo Credit: Wikiemirati / Wikimedia
Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in UAE under construction in May 2017

The United Arab Emirates on Monday announced it has issued a license to operate a reactor at the Barakah nuclear power plant west of Abu Dhabi.

Barakah, the first nuclear power plant built in the Arab nations of the Middle East, is being constructed by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation.

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“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,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan wrote in a tweet. “As we prepare for the next 50 years to safeguard our needs, our biggest strength is national talent.”

Hamad al-Kaabi, the country’s representative to the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told a news conference Monday the government gave its approval for the first of four reactors to be brought online.

“The full operation of [all four of the reactors at] Barakah plant in the near future will contribute to the UAE’s efforts for development and sustainability,” Kaabi said.

The project, which has been 12 years in the making, is slated to cost around $24.4 billion by the time it becomes fully operational, when its four reactors are expected to be able to generate 5,600 megawatts of electricity – approximately 25 percent of the UAE’s needs.

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