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NEA mission to the United Arab Emirates

04 April 2022


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An NEA delegation led by Director-General William D. Magwood, IV, was in the United Arab Emirates on 27-30 March for a series of meetings with the representatives of ministries, institutions and other authorities. During the mission, DG Magwood also participated in the World Government Summit and visited the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

The mission coincided with the start of commercial operations at Unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. During the visit to the plant, DG Magwood met with Hamad Ali Al Kaabi, UAE Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), and senior leadership team members. DG Magwood received an update on the project, toured the facilities and met with the team operating and maintaining the power plant.

“I was privileged to be able to visit Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant at such a key moment, with the recent start of Unit 2 commercial operations. This is an impressive achievement and puts the UAE well on course to deliver its targets for carbon free electricity and net zero by 2050. It is also a lesson to the world that new nuclear power plants can be built on schedule, within budget and by a country without a long history in nuclear energy,” said DG Magwood.

Unit 1 and 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant are both commercially operational while Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages of commissioning, with Unit 3 already undergoing operational readiness preparations. The development of the Barakah Plant is now more than 96% complete. Once operational, the four units of the Barakah Plant will produce up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity and will prevent 22.4 million tons of carbon emissions every year. 

On 30 March, DG Magwood spoke at the World Government Summit, an event focused on harnessing innovation and technology to solve challenges facing humanity. During the plenary session titled Governing peaceful energy for global prosperity, DG Magwood discussed the energy sector’s transition toward net zero emissions with Mariam Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and Environment of United Arab Emirates, and Al Hammadi of ENEC. DG Magwood also met with Christer Viktorsson, Director-General of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, and delivered keynote speeches at two sessions dedicated to youth: The Nuclear Energy Youth Circle and Youth for SDGs: Compassion, Passion, and Action for a Better Tomorrow.

The mission to the UAE also included a visit to Khalifa University and a meeting with Francois Foulon, Director of the Emirates Nuclear Technology Centre.