Unit 1 of the plant, which is in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, is the largest single generator of electricity in the UAE. To date, it has generated more than 2100 GWh of clean electricity and avioded the emission of more than 950,000 kilotonnes of CO2.
ENEC and its prime contractor and joint venture partner, Korea Electric Power Corporation, have worked on the Barakah project for more than a decade, "implementing the highest safety and quality standards and ensuring an exceptional safety culture", ENEC said.
Praising the project's dedicated workforce, Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, told World Nuclear News today: "We have empowered these men and women to continually put safety first, and have supported them with ongoing training, continual improvement and rigorous policies and procedures - an approach now regarded as the best-practice model for more than 30 nations exploring new nuclear programmes across Europe, Asia and the Middle East for the first time."
He added: "While we celebrate these accomplishments, it’s important to recognise that these have not been achieved in isolation. From the very beginning, we have sought the expertise of the global nuclear industry in developing our programme with safety as the number one priority. We have welcomed the guidance of our independent regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and embraced operational transparency and international engagement. Every day, we continue to learn from ongoing collaboration with partners and experts across the world who bring decades of operating expertise and experience."
This includes participating in 255 FANR-led inspections and more than 40 assessments and peer reviews by international bodies, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
"By maintaining the highest standards of industrial safety and engineering excellence across our programme, we have also witnessed a positive follow-on effect with the partners and suppliers with whom we work," Al Hammadi said. "As local companies enhance their policies, procedures and systems to meet the stringent standards required by the nuclear industry, we have seen improved quality and safety outcomes across the board.
"Barakah presents significant opportunities for the UAE and by continuing to place safety first, we can magnify the benefits of clean and abundant electricity and open doors to new horizons for ENEC - supporting the growth of new industries, exploring possibilities for R&D and IP development, and uncovering new avenues for the export of nuclear expertise to the world."
Consisting of four APR-1400s, the project to build the Barakah plant began in 2012. Unit 1 started commercial operation in April and unit 2 has now completed fuel loading and is being prepared for start-up. Construction of units 3 and 4 are in the final stages and are 94% and 89% complete, respectively.