Oil-rich UAE opens the Arab world’s first nuclear power plant. Experts question why

(CNN)The United Arab Emirates has launched a nuclear energy plant on Saturday, the first such project in the oil-rich Arab world. Unit 1 of the Barakah plant in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi started producing heat on Saturday, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said in a statement. Unit 1 is the first of the plant’s four nuclear reactors to launch. The corporation said the construction of Unit 2 has finished recently, while the other two reactors are still being built — even though the original schedule called for the plant to become operational by 2017. Once completed, the four reactors, which are using South Korean technology, should produce 5.6 gigawatts of electricity and supply up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs, the corporation said. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the corporation’s chief executive, said the reactor’s launch was “a truly historic moment for the UAE.” “We are now another step closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our Nation’s electricity needs and powering its future growth with safe, reliable, and emissions-free electricity,” he said in a statement. Mars launch: NASA sends Perseverance rover to space Read More The new plant is part of… Read full this story

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