The government of UAE expects to produce clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to meet its growing energy requirements by the year 2020.
According to Sang-jick Yoon, Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea, the future energy requirements of UAE are expected to grow at an average rate of 9 percent per annum. This is thrice the increase in global average and calls for an immediate need to harness the potential of other renewable sources of energy. He was speaking on the occasion to mark successful partnership between Korea and UAE in developing civilian nuclear technology. The event was well attended by top officials of the UAE government and power producers.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is working diligently to ensure that safe and efficient nuclear energy plays an important part in addressing the UAE’s future energy needs. The UAE has started construction on its second nuclear energy plant, in line with the approved Construction License from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), at Barakah, in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.
The site is expected to be completed within five years. This plant will start commercial operations in 2018, pending further regulatory approvals. However, the first plant is expected to begin operations in 2017, depending on a green signal from regulatory bodies. The ENEC will apply for an Operating License for Units 1 and 2 in 2015, while it has also recently applied for the Construction License Application for Units 3 & 4 to FANR.
With the functioning of four nuclear plants by 2020, the UAE will be able to diversify its energy mix and place greater dependence on nuclear power to meet the nation’s energy requirements. The nuclear energy project is also estimated to save the UAE about 12 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.