The First Nuclear Power Plant in the Arab World
The United Arab Emirates has launched the first unit of the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world so far, joining a closed club of three dozen states engaged in nuclear operations.
The Baraka NPP, according to the project, will consist of four units with a total capacity of 5.6 GW. They will be able to meet a quarter of the country's electricity needs. After several weeks of testing, the plant will be connected to the grid. The first unit will produce 1.4 GW of electricity. The use of the plant will prevent up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions per year.
The plant uses a PWR reactor, which uses ordinary (light) water as a moderator and coolant. The project is being implemented by a consortium of local company ENEC and South Korean KEPCO.
The exact completion deadlines for all four units have not been officially announced. The investment in the project is about $25 billion. At the same time, construction of the plant began nine years ago and was to be completed in 2017, but the dates were postponed.
The UAE is traditionally dependent on oil, but it is trying to diversify its income and energy portfolio by developing alternative energy sources. In particular, the country intends to get half of its electricity from clean sources in thirty years. However, a number of experts believe that solar energy looks much more attractive to the UAE, given the potential for its use and risks of nuclear energy.