The 31 July start-up of the first nuclear reactor at Abu Dhabi’s four-reactor nuclear power plant at Barakah, 50km west of Ruwais on the Gulf coast, was welcome news for state nuclear operator Enec after three years of delays.

Enec chief executive Mohamed al-Hammadi said that the Unit 1 start-up is “a truly historic moment for the UAE. It is the culmination of more than a decade of vision, strategic planning and robust program management.” Once fully operational, Barakah is intended to produce up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs. The UAE’s electricity is currently generated mainly in gas-fired plants, although renewables capacity is growing (MEES, 8 May). (CONTINUED - 819 WORDS)