DUBAI, April 6 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates' first
nuclear power plant started commercial operations on Tuesday,
the Gulf Arab state's leaders announced on Twitter.
The Barakah nuclear power plant in the Abu Dhabi emirate is
the first nuclear power station in the Arab world and part of
the oil producing state's efforts to diversify its energy mix.
"The first megawatt from the first Arab nuclear plant has
entered the national power grid," Vice President Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid al-Maktoum said on Twitter.
De facto ruler Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed
al-Nahyan said it was a historic milestone for the country,
which this year celebrates 50 years since its formation.
Barakah's construction has faced delays as the Gulf state
builds a nuclear industry from scratch.
Unit 1 received its operating licence from the nuclear
regulator in 2020, three years after its expected planned start
up in 2017.
Last August, Unit 1 was connected to the national power grid
and in December reached 100% of reactor power capacity during
Unit 2 was issued an operating licence in March this year.
When completed Barakah, which is being built by Korea
Electric Power Corp (KEPCO), will have four reactors with 5,600
megawatts (MW) of total capacity - equivalent to around 25% of
the UAE's peak demand.
(Writing by Alexander Cornwell
Editing by David Goodman and David Evans)