Initially due to open in 2017 the Barakah Nuclear Plant has finally initiated it’s first controlled fission chain reaction.
Situated on the east coast of the Gulf near Quatar, the plant has finally overcome all of the safety issues that held back the opening.
The South Korean technology based plant has a total of four reactors, the first of which is now operational.
The aim is for the plant to deliver 25% of the UAE’s energy needs. Solar power is also being heavily invested in for the area.
Some criticism is being received as many believe solar power a better option given the plentiful supply of natural sunlight. Also security concerns have been raised as the site is in an state of political tension and plagued by terrorism.
Quatar in particular are unhappy with the plant calling it a “flagrant threat to regional peace and environment”
Just two weeks ago the UAE sent a probe on a mission to Mars – another high-profile scientific first for the Gulf nation.
Dr Paul Dorfman, head of the international Nuclear Consulting Group, wrote last year that “the tense geopolitical environment in the Gulf makes nuclear a more controversial issue in this region than elsewhere, as new nuclear power provides the capability to develop and make nuclear weapons”.
The leader of Abu Dhabi, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, tweeted his congratulations “marking this milestone in the roadmap for sustainable development”.
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