Saudi Arabia's Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud this week visited the Barakah nuclear power plant in the UAE. The minister said his visit to the Middle East's first operational multi-unit nuclear power plant "comes in line with the growing awareness of the importance of nuclear energy."

L-R: ENEC Managing Director and CEO Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Al Saud, Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, and Nawah CEO Ali Al Hammadi pictured during the visit (Image: ENEC)

"My visit to the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the pioneering project of the United Arab Emirates, comes in line with the growing awareness of the importance of nuclear energy. Nuclear energy technologies play a vital role in diversifying energy sources and the economy to achieve sustainable development," he said.

"We congratulate the UAE for hosting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Conference of the Parties 28 (COP 28) in 2023, which comes as a recognition of its efforts to tackle climate change. Holding the conference in the region enhances our collective efforts to ensure a sustainable future," he added.

UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei said the visit by the Saudi Arabian delegation enhanced the bilateral cooperation between the UAE and Saudi Arabia on clean energy initiatives to accelerate the sustainability and decarbonisation of the energy sector. "This will also support the Net Zero initiatives announced by both countries to address the urgency for climate change action," he said.

The first of four Korean-designed APR-1400 units at Barakah, which is  in the Al Dhafra region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, began commercial operation in April; the second unit started up in August and is undergoing testing prior to entering commercial operation. The plant is enabling a rapid decarbonisation of the UAE's power sector, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said. "By 2025, the Barakah Plant will have cut Abu Dhabi Emirate's carbon emissions by 50 percent, demonstrating the significant abilities of nuclear energy in producing baseload electricity without generating carbon emissions," it added.

Saudi Arabia has previously announced plans to construct two large nuclear power reactors and also small reactors for desalination.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Thursday, 18 November 2021
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