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Arab world’s first nuclear plant achieves criticality

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The oil-rich United Arab Emirates on Saturday introduced the start-up of its Barakah nuclear energy plant, scoring one other first for the Arab world.

The announcement, coinciding with the Muslim vacation of Id al-Adha, comes sizzling on the heels of the UAE’s launch of the Arab world’s first probe to Mars.

“UAE first nuclear reactor at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has achieved first criticality and successfully started up,” tweeted Hamad Alkaabi, the nation’s consultant to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“This is a historic milestone for the nation with a vision set to deliver a new form of clean energy for the nation,” he tweeted in English, together with {a photograph} of technicians elevating their arms in celebration.

The UAE Premier and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, tweeted that work at Barakah had “succeeded in loading nuclear fuel packages, carrying out comprehensive tests and successfully completing the operation”.

‘Historic achievement’

“Congratulations on realising this historic achievement in the energy sector & marking this milestone in the roadmap for sustainable development,” Sheikh Mohammed mentioned.

The UAE began loading gasoline rods into the reactor at Barakah in February, after regulators gave the inexperienced mild for the primary of the plant’s 4 reactors, opening the best way for business operations.

Barakah, which suggests “blessing” in Arabic, is a regional first. Barakah was constructed by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation at a price of some $24.four billion.

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