Unit 3 will add another 1,400MW of zero-carbon emission electricity to the UAE’s national grid
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced that its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), has successfully started Unit 3 of the Barakah Nuclear Plant.
The start-up of Unit 3 shows the significant progress being made in bringing the four units of the Barakah Plant online, according to ENEC. The nuclear plant, said to be the first multi-unit operational nuclear plant in the Arab World, is located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi in the UAE.
The milestone highlights the acceleration of the decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector on the way to Net Zero by 2050; the start-up of Unit 3 has been achieved one year after the start-up of Unit 2, with the next key milestone being the connection of Unit 3 to the national electricity grid in the coming weeks, the statement added. Construction of Unit 3 was completed in November 2021.
Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said: “We have reached another major milestone in the delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program today, as we move forwards with the provision of strategically significant clean energy for the UAE.”
Unit 3 will add another 1,400MW of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity to the national grid, a major boost for UAE energy security. The clean electricity generated at Barakah is sustainably powering homes, business and high-tech industries across the UAE, ENEC pointed out.
Nawah, the joint venture nuclear operations and maintenance subsidiary of ENEC and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), has been safely progressing through a comprehensive testing program, prior to successfully completing the start-up of the third nuclear energy reactor of the Barakah Plant, ENEC said.
Testing is being undertaken under the continued oversight of the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and follows the World Association of Nuclear Operators’ (WANO) completion of a Pre-Start-Up Review (PSUR), prior to receipt of the Operating License, which ensures Unit 3 is aligned with international best practice in the nuclear energy industry.
In August 2021, ENEC said Unit 2 of Barakah Nuclear Energy was powered up.
Start-up is the first time Unit 3 has produced heat through nuclear fission. The heat is used to create steam, turning a turbine to generate electricity. Making use of the experience gained in the start-up of Unit 1 and Unit 2, the qualified and licensed team of nuclear operators conducted numerous safety tests after safely loading fuel into the reactor earlier this year, ENEC explained.
In the coming weeks, Unit 3 will be connected to the national electricity grid and the operations team will continue with the process of gradually raising power levels, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT). The process will be continuously monitored and tested until maximum electricity production is reached, while adhering to all regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality and security.
Unit 1 and Unit 2 of the Barakah Plant are operating commercially, providing clean and reliable electricity 24/7, while Unit 4 is in the final stages of commissioning prior to completion of construction.