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UAE celebrates completion of its first nuclear reactor

UAE building the Middle Easts first nuclear plant
UAE building the Middle East's first nuclear plant

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced yesterday the completion of the construction of its first-ever nuclear power reactor, official news agency WAM has reported.

The Emirati reactor, the first in the Arab world, is one of four which are being built in the country's Barakah nuclear power plant.

The $24.4 billion nuclear plant will start generating power after the issuance of the necessary licenses, officials told the official WAM news agency. It is expected to produce 5,600 megawatts of electricity.

Last year, the UAE declared that a nuclear reactor will be constructed near Abu Dhabi and would start operating this year.

In December 2009, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) awarded the contract for the Middle East's first nuclear power plant to a consortium of South Korean companies headed by the Korean Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).

Read: UAE spent $2.5m to demonise Qatar in the US

The historic announcement about the UAE's nuclear reactor completion was made at a ceremony held in the Barakah nuclear plant in the presence of the country's Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the South Korean President, Moon Jae-in.

"Today is an historic day for the UAE's energy sector. We are moving ahead with completing one of the most important strategic projects in the country," Al Nahyan said.

"The completion of Barakah nuclear power plant is an historic achievement for the UAE," the Crown Prince added, stressing that the move "contributes to consolidating the UAE's prestigious position on the international map."

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