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UAE’s Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant achieved 80 percent of the reactor’s capacity power, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.
The milestone is part of the ongoing Power Ascension Testing, PAT, of Unit 1. The process involves a slow increase of the reactor’s power levels, data collections and tuning of the control and safety systems to ensure the unit complies with national and international safety, security and quality standards.
UAE’s independent nuclear regulator Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, is overseeing the PAT.
The next and final step will be to increase the plant’s electricity production to 100 percent capacity, which is what the Nawah’s operations team are currently working on. Once the last stage is reached, Unit 1 will be gradually shut down to finish the check outage stage, which will go on for months while experts perform examinations and maintenance. The Barakah plant, which is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), will be the first nuclear energy plant in the Arab World.
When completed, the four reactors will have a total capacity of 5,600 megawatts – enough to meet 25 percent of the UAE’s energy needs.