In a speech in Abu Dhabi a few days ago, Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, a minister of state in the UAE government and also chief executive of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), drew attention to the nuclear power plants that will start supplying the country’s electricity grid for the first time later this year. Al Jaber was speaking during what is billed as Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and said the development meant “the UAE will be the first country in the region to operate a safe commercial, peaceful nuclear power station.” Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is building four identical nuclear reactors at the Barakah site in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi emirate. Construction of the units is now close to completion. Once all four are on line they will be able to produce some 5.6GW of electricity. Nuclear power is controversial in many parts of the world, but perhaps nowhere more than in the Gulf region, where it has been at the heart of the geopolitical storm involving Iran. Despite this, a number of other countries have been pursuing nuclear power, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, often attracting criticism due to the proliferation risk and possible environmental damage.
Forbes 16th Jan 2020 read more »