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UAE Issues Nuclear Reactor License

UAE Issues Nuclear Reactor License
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By Staff, Agencies

The United Arab Emirates became the first Arab nation to issue a license for a reactor at a nuclear power plant, the country announced on Monday.

Hamad al-Kaabi, the UAE representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the country's national nuclear regulator "approved the issuance" of the operating license for the first of four reactors at the Barakah plant.

"This milestone was achieved due to the UAE's vision and its leadership to build a peaceful nuclear energy program to cater for the future needs of energy in the country," he said.

Abu Dhabi Crown prince Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, the UAE ruler, welcomed the development, hailing a new chapter in the country's nuclear program.

The Barakah plant, located west of the country's capital, was supposed to go operational in 2017, but a series of delays has slowed the process down, with Abu Dhabi explaining this by safety and regulatory requirements.

In January, the country's authorities announced that the plant is slated to go online within the coming months.

When its four reactors are live, the plant is expected to cover around one-fourth of the national energy demand.

Under its sustainable development plan, the UAE aims to have renewable and atomic energy to cover 27% of the national needs by 2021.