UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant makes “history” in the Arab world

Nawah Energy Company connected Unit 1 of the plant to the UAE’s national grid in August 2020

Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has dispatched its first batch of clean energy to the UAE’s national grid [Image: WAM/ ENEC]
Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has dispatched its first batch of clean energy to the UAE’s national grid [Image: WAM/ ENEC]

The UAE’s Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, which is the Arab’s world’ s first nuclear power plant that became operational, earlier this year, has now made another achievement. Located in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafrah region, Unit 1 of the four-unit plant has been connected to the UAE’s national transmission grid.

Nawah Energy, a subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) in partnership with Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (TRANSCO) — a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) connected Unit 1 to the grid, which then dispatched its first megawatts of clean energy.

During the process, the generator in Unit 1 was integrated and synchronised with the requirements of the UAE’s national electricity transmission grid.

For the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) the achievement was another ‘historic milestone’ for the UAE Nuclear Energy Programme. Unit 1 connection is also referred to as ‘grid synchronisation’.

In the end of July 2020, Unit 1 had started-off operations. Following its start-off, the operations team has run a series of tests, steadily increasing the power levels to generate the first megawatts of baseload electricity produced by the plant, which is located in the Al Dhafrah region.

According to FANR, Nawah Energy Company, the operator of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant met all regulatory requirements to initiate the phase.

Extensive supervision including conducting regular inspection to ensure the safety and security of the nuclear power plant were also carried out before Unit 1 was connected to the grid.

The Emirates News Agency, quoted FANR, which said: “The connection of Unit 1 to the grid follows the successful completion of numerous safety tests conducted after the start-up of the plant, and with the continued oversight of FANR.

Nawah will begin the process of gradually raising the power levels in Unit 1, known as Power Ascension Testing (PAT).

“Throughout the PAT, Unit 1’s systems are continuously monitored and tested as the unit proceeds towards full electricity production in line with all regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety and security.”

The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is supporting electrification and the decarbonisation of the UAE’s energy sector.

The Abu Dhabi-based project is also supporting the nation’s economic diversification plan by creating several jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain.

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