Construction officially began today on the UAE's second new nuclear power reactor, at the Barakah site in Abu Dhabi.
A Kepco-led consortium was selected at the end of 2009 and construction began on Barakah 1 in July 2012. Unit 2's construction began today and that for units 3 and 4 is expected in subsequent years. They will start up in sequence between 2017 and 2020.
A ceremony took place involving the senior mangers of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) and the Kepco-led consortium that is supplying the four APR-1400 units. Representing the South Korean government that has supported the project was Sang-jick Yoon, the country's minister of trade, industry and energy.
|Left: Concrete is poured for the first safety-related structure of Barakah 2. Right: Nuclear sector dignitaries of the UAE and South Korea pose at the site (Image: Enec)
Nuclear power provides 40% of electricity for South Korea with the strategic benefits of reducing fossil fuel imports and improving the domestic base for science, technology and engineering. As a major oil exporter UAE uses natural gas for virtually all of its electricity generation, even importing some for this purpose. Meanwhile, power demand in the UAE is growing at 9% per year - some three times the global average, said Enec. By 2020 the country expects to need 40,000 MWe of installed generating capacity and wants nuclear units at Barakah to make up 5600 MWe of this.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News