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Barakah dream has come true as nation marks golden jubilee

“Today, the UAE entered a historic stage.” With that stately declaration that speaks for itself, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced on Tuesday that Barakah, the UAE’s Arab- first nuclear power plant has begun producing electricity that was fed into the national power grid.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces similarity applauded the start of commercial operations at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant as “a historic milestone for the UAE that significantly enhances the sustainability of our entire power sector.”

The plant’s commercial operations mean the testing phase of the Unit 1 nuclear reactor has been completed, meeting all national safety requirements and international standards. Electricity can now be delivered constantly and reliably over the next 60 years.

This enormous accomplishment has been achieved by the collective will of leadership, the commitment of a dedicated and large team of scientists, engineers, officials, construction crews and regulators, who worked hard for more than 10 years to bring the UAE and its people into the nuclear age. By connecting the Barakah station to the national power grid, the UAE enters an exclusive club of nations, one that is committed to the generation and provision of readily available and reliable, cleanly produced energy from a renewable source.

And in line with the country’s commitment to mitigate climate change, the Barakah plant uses a proven technology to reduce carbon emissions. It prevents 21 million tonnes of carbon emissions, equal to removing 3.2 million cars off the roads annually.

Today, Unit 1 is the largest single generator connected to the UAE grid, generating thousands of megawatts of carbon-free electricity every single day. Once the other three units at the plant are fully operational, 5,600MW of electricity will be produced, which is enough to power 574,000 households in the UAE or 25 per cent of the country’s electricity needs. Unit 2 has recently finished the fuel loading process, while Units 3 and 4 are 94 per cent and 89 per cent complete, respectively.

The UAE has worked openly, honestly, transparently with all international regulatory bodies and met all safety requirements to ensure that its nuclear programme can have but one aim — powering the nation forward.

The planning, construction and now fully operational status of the Barakah nuclear plant represents the fulfilment of a pledge that nuclear energy would be produced in this country for peaceful purposes to ensure prosperity of the UAE people. It is also a fitting milestone to celebrate as we mark the nation’s 50 anniversary.