By Andy Sambidge
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation says Unit 3 is on track to enter commercial operations by 2019
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced that it has started construction of the third reactor of four being built near Abu Dhabi.
The company said it has started pouring the safety concrete for the reactor containment building for Unit 3.
It added in a statement that the "significant milestone" follows the receipt of the construction licence from the Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation (FANR).
More than 1,954 cubic yards of concrete were poured during a ceremony attended by senior ENEC officials, the statement said.
ENEC said construction of the reactor containment building will be completed over the next three years and Unit 3 is on track to enter commercial operations by 2019.
"The concrete pouring is yet another key accomplishment for ENEC and the UAE's peaceful nuclear energy program," said Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC.
"ENEC is working hard to reach its construction targets on schedule and deliver safe, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to the UAE starting by 2017."
Following an 18 month rigorous review by FANR and a team of international nuclear energy experts, the regulator granted ENEC approval last week to commence construction of Units 3 and 4.
Unit 1 is already more than 57 percent complete and due to connect to the grid in 2017. Construction of Unit 2 is also well underway and this unit is scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2018.
Once the four reactors are complete, the UAE's nuclear program will provide approximately 25 percent of the UAE's electricity needs, saving up to 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.