UAE Loads Fuel Rods At Barakah Nuclear Plant, Arab World's First

UAE Loads Fuel Rods At Barakah Nuclear Plant, Arab World's First

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Authorities had said in January that the plant will start operating within a few months

The United Arab Emirates has started loading fuel rods into the first reactor at its Barakah nuclear plant, operators said Wednesday, two days after regulators gave the green light.

On Monday, the national nuclear regulator announced it has issued the operating license for the first of the plant's four reactors, opening the way for commercial operations to begin.

The plant, the first in the Arab world, had been due to go online in late 2017 but faced a number of delays that officials attributed to safety and regulatory requirements.

"The Nawah Energy Company has commenced loading the first nuclear fuel assemblies as the initial step in the process towards safely and gradually commencing operations and subsequent generation of clean electricity," Nawah said in a statement.

The statement added that Unit 1 will begin commercial operations after a "series of tests" leading to the start-up process.

During the process, the unit will be synchronised with the power grid and the first electricity produced.

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