Groundbreaking for first UAE reactor

17 March 2011

A groundbreaking ceremony has been held for the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power plant at Braka. The 14 March ceremony was attended by South Korean president Lee Myung-bak and Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi. Four AP1400 pressurised water reactor units, built by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Co (Kepco), are planned for the site, which is close to the border with Saudi Arabia. Formal construction applications for the first two units were filed with the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) in December 2009, and construction is expected to begin in earnest after permits have been granted in mid-2012. Unit 1 is scheduled to start up in 2017 and unit 2 in 2018.