DUBAI (Somaliguardian) –The United Arab Emirtes on Saturday announced the startup of its Barakah nuclear power plant.
“UAE first nuclear reactor at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has achieved first critically and successfully started up,” tweeted Hamad Alkaabi, the country’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“This is a historic milestone for the nation with a vision set to deliver a new form of clean energy for the nation,” he tweeted in English, along with a photograph of technicians raising their arms in celebration.
The UAE premier and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, tweeted that work at Barakah had “succeeded in loading nuclear fuel packages, carrying out comprehensive tests and successfully completing the operation”.
“Congratulations on realizing this historic achievement in the energy sector and marking this milestone in the roadmap for sustainable development,” Sheikh Mohamed said.
The United Arab Emirates government started loading fuel rods into the reactor at Barakah in February, after regulators gave the green light for the first of the plant’s four reactors, opening the way for commercial operations.
The nuclear plant on the Gulf coast west of Abu Dhabi was expected to become fully functioning in late 2017 but faced a number of delays that officials attributed to safety and regulatory requirement.
The UAE has substantial oil and gas reserves, but with a power-hungry population of 10 million it has recently made huge investments in developing clean alternatives including solar energy.