The Independent Assessment of Nuclear Developments in the World

Home > News > Essential News > Construction Start on UAE Barakah Unit 4

Construction Start on UAE Barakah Unit 4

Sunday 6 September 2015

Construction Start on UAE Barakah Unit 4

Construction began on the fourth reactor at Barakah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 2 September 2015, with the start of the pouring of the basemat concrete. The four APR1400 reactors planned at Barakah, located in the western region of Abu Dhabi, about 50 kilometers west of Ruwais, are to be supplied by the Korea Electric Power Company (KEPCO). Unit 1 is scheduled to start operations in 2017 and the remaining three reactors planned for operation by 2020.

There is little independent information available on progress at the Barakah building site. While steps have been taken to release information on the progress of construction through twice yearly reports from an International Advisory Board, it is noted that the level of detail “falls far short of what is customarily available to the public in new-build programs in other countries, particularly in the West.”

In a press statement, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Commission (ENEC) noted that "with the construction of four identical nuclear energy reactors now under way, Barakah surpasses nuclear construction sites in China, the USA, the UK, Russia and other countries to become the largest project with simultaneous construction of identical nuclear technology in the world". The UAE has no prior experience operating a commercial or even a research reactor. A total of 18,000 workers are currently on the Barakah site.

The Emergency Preparedness Review Service team of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) completed in March 2015 a review of the UAE’s emergency preparedness and response arrangements, which was generally favorable, but which was also described as mixed, with recommendations on measures being required on emergency planning, including consistency in public information disclosure and public protection in the event of a nuclear emergency.

As reported in WNISR2015, the cost of the four reactor project is reported to have risen significantly from the original US20 billion to about US32 billion and possibly US40 billion. The financing is made up of monies from the Export Import Bank of Korea, the US EXIM Bank, the Government of Abu Dhabi and commercial banks.

What They Say…

“The Report sets forth in painstaking detail the actual experience and achievements of nuclear energy around the world.”

Peter A. Bradford

Former commissioner
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
(in his foreword to the 2013 report)
“A vital public service... Uniquely independent, thorough, and timely assessment."

Amory B. Lovins

Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute
USA
“This annual publication has over 20 years evolved into the most reliable, strikingly original, comprehensive and penetrating assessment of the global nuclear industry.”

Praful Bidwai

Financial Chronicle
Delhi, India
"Amid the hype and PR, the smoke and mirrors, of the 'nuclear renaissance', the Status Report offers a hard-edged reality check."

Walt Patterson

Associate Fellow Chatham House
London, UK
“Fantastic piece of work. Must reading for any observer of nuclear energy."

Henri Sokolski

Executive Director Nonproliferation Policy Education Center
Washington DC, USA
“Reliable research based on cold, hard facts, unlike the hype and amnesia of industry sources.”

Scott Ludlam

Senator
Australia
“Félicitations pour la dernière édition du WNISR. Formidable comme d'habitude!”

Fulcieri Maltini

International Consultant Former Director of the Nuclear Safety Account, EBRD
Italy/France
“Thought-provoking as usual.”

Will Dalrymple

Editor Nuclear Engineering International
UK
"The authoritative report on the status of nuclear power plants worldwide is the World Nuclear Industry Status Report."

USAID

Bangkok, Thailand
“Such an illuminating report.”

Sam Geall

Deputy Editor China Dialogue
London, UK
"An astounding collection of facts and figures, a myth-busting international overview… An eye-opening piece of work!"

R. Andreas Krämer

Chairman Ecologic Institute
Berlin, Germany
“I really appreciate you letting us excerpt your report! It’s incredibly well researched and comprehensive, so thank you!”

Stuart Luman

Associate Editor Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
USA