How safe is the UAE’s new atomic reactor?
The UAE has taken its final steps towards flicking the switch on the Arab world’s first commercial nuclear power plant.
A regulatory watchdog that looks after the safety of nuclear reactors has officially given the UAE its stamp of approval, making the Barakah reactor one of the safest in the world.
Built and run by Korea Electric Power Corp, the reactor will now start loading up fuel until it is ready to officially begin operation (expected to take several more months). Other countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are also looking into getting nuclear reactors of their own.
The Barakah nuclear power station marks a major milestone for the UAE. Despite the country still having plenty of traditional energy (it’s currently the third-largest producer of OPEC), it hopes to diversify its energy supply.
The power plant “can fulfil all the safety requirements of the U.A.E.,” Christer Viktorsson, head of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, said yesterday.
Dubai – which is the country’s business hub – is currently on track to get 75 per cent of its power needs from solar energy and other renewables by 2050.
When the Barakah plant officially turns on, it will be manned by more than 380 Emirati nuclear experts, alongside international expats.