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World United Arab Emirates: entry into service of the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world

19:05  01 august  2020
19:05  01 august  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Une photo publiée par l'ENEC le 1er juin 2017 montre une partie de la centrale nucléaire de Barakah en construction près d'al-Hamra à l'ouest d'Abu Dhabi en mai 2017. © Arun GIRIJA / ENEC / AFP A photo released by ENEC on June 1, 2017 shows part of the Barakah nuclear power plant under construction near 'al-Hamra west of Abu Dhabi in May 2017.

In the United Arab Emirates, the authorities have announced the entry into service of the Barakah nuclear power plant located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The wealthy federation made up of seven micro-states thus becomes the first Arab country to produce civilian nuclear energy.

Postponed several times, the project is now materialized . More than a decade after unveiling their nuclear energy program, the United Arab Emirates announced this Saturday, August 1, the commissioning of the first reactor at the Barakah power plant, located in the northwest of the country, reports our correspondent in Dubai, Nicolas Keraudren.

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“This is a historic moment for the Emirates in their goal of providing a new form of clean energy to the nation,” commented Hamad Alkaabi, UAE representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) , also welcoming the "success" of the start of the installation.

An estimated cost of 24.4 billion dollars

Commercial operations for this first reactor should begin before the end of the year. Ultimately, the nuclear power plant - inaugurated in 2011 shortly after the Fukushima disaster - will consist of 4 reactors. It will have the capacity to produce 5,600 megawatts of electricity, thus covering about 25% of the UAE's energy needs.

At an estimated cost of 24.4 billion dollars (22.5 billion euros), the nuclear power plant should also make it possible to support the diversification of the economy of the Arab Gulf monarchy, which is still very dependent on oil.

No military intention

The UAE authorities therefore unanimously welcomed this announcement while insisting on the “peaceful” nature of the approach while the region is in the grip of constant tensions. There is no intention of giving it a military component, they assured.

For its part, Qatar, on which the Emirates and other Arab countries impose a blockade, saw in the Emirati nuclear power plant a "flagrant threat to regional peace and the environment". Abu Dhabi responded by reiterating its commitment to “ensure the highest level of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation”.

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