Unit 1 of the four-reactor Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi has achieved operation at 80% of its rated powergen capacity of 1.4GW, the Nawah operating JV of state nuclear firm Enec and Korean contractor Kepco announced on 18 November. Output from the reactor is being slowly raised to full capacity while its performance is monitored. Nawah says that once 100% output is achieved, the plant will be gradually shut down for a check outage which “takes place over several months.”

Barakah-1 was planned for start-up in 2017, with the other three units to be brought on line at yearly intervals. However, a faked nuclear equipment safety certificates scandal in Korea halted Kepco work on the first plant in the world to use the reactor model deployed at Barakah, delaying operator training and thus the award of an operating license. With Unit 1 due to begin commercial operations in 2021 and Nawah awaiting an operating license for Unit 2, Nawah may now achieve full four-reactor operations in 2024 (MEES, 14 August). (CONTINUED - 162 WORDS)