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'Power' play: Nuclear programme at Barakah power plant proves UAE's responsibility for future

Khaleej Times 2020-08-01 18:27:22

The UAE has begun operating the Arab world's first peaceful nuclear energy reactor, a significant milestone in the nation's plans in using clean energy to create a sustainable society.

The programme at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant in Abu Dhabi is a testament to the UAE's commitment to deliver sustainable energy that adhere to the highest international standards. The nation UAE has become a role model for nuclear newcomers to build and operate a nuclear programme in a short span of time.

This week, Unit 1 of the Barakah Plant started up. But how can the splitting of an atom power our cities, homes and businesses? Take a trip inside Barakah to find out. #BarakahDream

- Emirates Nuclear (@ENEC_UAE) August 1, 2020

Industry executives lauded the milestone, stressing how the UAE is leading the way not just in the region; the milestone will serve as a role model for transparency, timeliness and, most importantly, the responsibility in using such technologies for a cleaner society and future.

Gary Dalton, managing diector of, said the news is yet another important milestone in the history of the UAE.

And coming so soon after the successful Mars probe launch is another significant and impressive achievement, which will put the UAE firmly on the world stage and make citizens and residents of the UAE immensely proud.

"The completion of the facility will deliver 25 per cent of the UAE's electricity needs and will ensure a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. It will provide a reliable, cost-effective and clean source of electricity for generations to come," he told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

"Congratulations to everyone involved on this momentous achievement."

Nuclear energy provides a host of positive benefits. Chief among them is the significant impact on the environment as it reduces the amount of emissions in the air, thereby preventing a greenhouse effect.

It is also easier to manage and costs less compared to other sources of energy.

In the United States, for example, nuclear is the largest source of clean power, accounting for 55 per cent of the country's emissions-free electricity and is responsible for producing over 800 billion kilowatt-hours of power annually. This, in turn, takes away about 470 million metric tonnes of carbon every year.

That said, the UAE - already among countries that have the lowest carbon footprints globally - will reap even more benefits from it. This will complement the nation's other initiatives to promote clean energy, including solar.

"We have a responsibility to keep powering our homes, workplaces and cities - but we also have a responsibility to the planet. We believe nuclear power has enough positives to be part of the solution - being able to keep us in power and be kind to the planet," Ali Homadi, CEO and founder of software provider Loyica, told Khaleej Times on Saturday.

He said there's a huge and ongoing demand for electricity in the UAE and nuclear power is a cheap and reliable source of energy.

"Nuclear power stations take considerable investment to build, but they have low running costs, longevity and cost-effective."