The Barakah Site

The site for the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first nuclear energy plant is Barakah, located in the Al Dhafra Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, approximately 53 kilometers west-southwest of the city of Ruwais.

Barakah was selected based on several factors, including environmental, technical and commercial, following a comprehensive evaluation process led by local and international experts.

The selection process was guided by best practices and standards from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the Electric Power Research Institute, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Factors that the UAE considered when selecting the site included:

  • Seismic history
  • Distance from large population centers
  • Proximity to large supplies of water
  • Proximity to existing electrical power grid
  • Proximity to industrial and transportation infrastructure
  • Favorable construction, security and evacuation route conditions
  • Ability to minimize environmental impact

In July 2010, FANR and the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) approved two licenses for preliminary work to begin at Barakah. The Site Preparation License allowed ENEC to start the installation of site infrastructure not directly related to the nuclear reactors, such as roads, telecommunications networks and site administration buildings. Meanwhile, the Limited Construction License authorized the manufacture and assembly of select components, including reactor pressure vessels, steam generators and coolant pumps.

In July 2012, FANR and the EAD granted final approval for Barakah to be the site of ENEC’s first nuclear energy plant. Following the approval, ENEC began pouring safety-related concrete for Unit 1, marking an important milestone in the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program.

For the UAE’s first nuclear program, our main goals are very clear.

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