Barakah-4 is connected to the UAE grid

March 26, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News
Unit 4 at the Barakah nuclear power plant. (Photo: Nawah Energy Company)

The fourth nuclear unit at Barakah power plant in the United Arab Emirates has been “safely and successfully” connected to the nation’s grid, according to an announcement by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. ENEC announced the start-up of the 1,400-MWe pressurized water reactor earlier this month. Nawah Energy Company, ENEC’s operating and maintenance subsidiary, runs the facility.

Clean energy goals: Barakah-4, which is the last of the Korean-designed APR-1400 units slated for the power plant, is expected to allow the facility to reach its full capacity of 5,600 MWe, covering 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity demand. This electricity output will also cover 25 percent of the country’s carbon reduction commitments, referred to as the Nationally Determined Contribution under the United Nations Paris Agreement for global climate change goals.

According to ENEC, Barakah-4 moves the UAE close to the national goal of generating 40 terawatt-hours of clean electricity per year. This goal is a key element of the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 plans.

Phased timeline: ENEC said that Barakah-4 will begin commercial operations after it undergoes power ascension testing, which involves the gradual raising of power levels with continuous monitoring and testing until maximum electricity production is reached. The company noted that each of the four units at the Barakah facility has been connected to the grid more efficiently than the previous unit. Unit 3 was delivered four months faster than the Unit 2 schedule and five months faster than the Unit 1 schedule, “demonstrating the significant benefit of building multiple units within a phased timeline.”

ADVANCE Program: In addition to building up the pressurized water reactor capacity at Barakah, ENEC is focusing on such advanced nuclear technologies as small modular reactors and microreactors through the company’s ADVANCE Program, which was launched late last year. “This strategic direction not only amplifies the UAE's contributions to global decarbonization efforts but also showcases the potential of advanced nuclear technologies in meeting the world's growing energy needs sustainably,” said the company.

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