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UAE Licenses Arab World’s First Nuclear Power Plant
Barakah nuclear power plant, about 150 miles southwest of Abu Dhabi, UAE, under construction, in 2017. (Wikimedia Commons)

UAE Licenses Arab World’s First Nuclear Power Plant

The United Arab Emirates has licensed the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant, a senior official of the UAE’s nuclear regulatory agency told a news conference on Monday. Hamad al-Kaabi, deputy chairman of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), said that the Barakah nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi could start producing energy later this year. The plant’s operator, Nawah Energy Company, was granted a 60-year license. The UAE, a key oil producer, plans to generate 6% of its energy needs using nuclear power by 2050. The country seeks to diversify its energy sources for its growing domestic needs and devote a greater share of its oil to the export market. The multibillion-dollar plant is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). It was originally scheduled to begin operations in 2017 but has experienced multiple delays. Eventually, it will have four reactors and a total capacity of 5,600 megawatts. “Today marks a new chapter in our journey for the development of peaceful nuclear energy with the issuing of the operating license for the first [unit of] Barakah plant,” Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed wrote on Twitter.

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