Abu Dhabi’s first nuclear reactor is operating at 50% of full capacity on test, Mohamed al-Hammadi, chief executive of state nuclear firm Enec, announced in an IAEA webinar on 22 September. The 1.4GW Barakah-1 reactor, the first of four under construction at Barakah on the Gulf coast, was connected and synchronized with the grid on 19 August for ramp-up to full capacity “over the coming months” (MEES, 21 August). Mr Hammadi says that, while ramping up Unit 1, the Nawah operating joint venture of Ewec and Korean contractor Kepco is continuing “operational readiness preparations for Unit 2.”

Barakah’s four units were intended to start up during 2017-20, but a fake safety certificates scandal in Korea halted Kepco’s work on the first plant to deploy the reactor used at Barakah, delaying operator training and thus operating license awards by three years. With nuclear state regulator FANR now “reviewing the operating license for Unit 2” as FANR director general Christer Viktorsson told the webinar, recent progress suggests all four units at Barakah could be fully operational in 2024 (MEES, 14 August). (CONTINUED - 173 WORDS)