ABU DHABI: Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, stressed that the UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, is pressing ahead with aspirations for global leadership, thanks to the efforts of its capable citizens and the technologial achievements in the fields of peaceful nuclear energy.
Sheikh Mohammed made the remarks while chairing on Sunday a cabinet session which was held at the site of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant at Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, in attendance of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
His Highness said "Under the wise leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the close follow up of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, we lead today the regional and international efforts in clean and renewable energy, and building the future’s generation."
He emphasised that the UAE put its hopes and aspirations in the youth generation armed with knowledge and modern sciences.
"We put our hopes in the youth generation armed with knowledge and modern sciences to lead the national initiatives and projects and managing them."
His Highness was briefed, along with the cabinet members, on the updates of the UAE’s programme for peaceful nuclear energy, which is considered the biggest peaceful nuclear programme of its kind in the world, as Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak the Chairman of The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s Board of Directors made a presentation about the latest updates on the stages of building and accomplishing the project, while a number of Emirati engineers from the Corporation and from Nawah Energy Company presented an introductory demonstration to His Highness about the project. The presenting team included Mariam Qassim the Head of Fuel Fabrication Procurement Department, and Ali Al Nuaimi the Senior Reactor Operator.
His Highness made an inspection tour at the site of the Plant accompanied by Their Highnesses and Ministers along with Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak the Chairman of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation’s Board of Directors, Eng. Mohammed Al Hamadi the CEO for the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, Eng. Mohammed Sahoo Al Suwaudi the Acting CEO of the Nawah Energy Company at the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant.
His Highness also made a visit to the Simulator Training Centre which provides intensive training to qualify trainees for Nuclear Energy Reactor Operator certificates, where Eng. Amani Al Hosani Deputy Head of the simulators, who is the first Emirati nuclear energy engineer, briefed them about the centre and the operational preparedness plans.
His Highness praised the team spirit and positive developments made by the programme during his meeting with a group of Emirati engineers and executives responsible for operation and work in nuclear energy plants.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed his pride with the Emirati manpower working in the plant, and their qualitative expertise in operating and managing the programme on the highest levels.
"We are proud of our youth working in the biggest nuclear project of its kind internationally, they are the engine for the future’s accomplishments."
His Highness stressed during the visit that the energy sector represents a main and important component in the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, and safe, sustainable and environmentally friendly nuclear energy will have an important and vital role and the future of the country and the coming decades.
He praised the national establishment and national manpower managing the site of the Barakah Plant, saying: "Barakah is a national strategic project in which citizens represent 60% and women 20% of the total workforce."
Sheikh Mohammed added, "the project will provide job opportunities in the specialties of engineering, advanced technology and future sciences, and will contribute in developing our industrial and modern sectors, for the benefit of our coming generations."
The Cabinet approved a number of Federal decisions and laws listed on the meeting’s agenda, including the forming of a High Committee to supervise the application of the Emirates Standard Test system headed by the Minister of Education. It also approved a Federal Law regarding caring for mosques and organising its affairs, as well as amendments to some articles of the cabinet resolution number 42 for the year 2009 pertaining to the minimum capital of insurance companies.
In international relations, the Cabinet approved a number of international agreements.
The Emirati Peaceful Nuclear Programme succeeded in establishing strong values in different strategic sectors in the UAE and the world and the country aims through it to support the future accomplishments and achieving the strategic goals aiming to providing safe, trusted and environmentally friendly nuclear energy for the UAE.
The total cost of the project reached over Dhs89 billion, while the project contributed by awarding contracts of Dhs11 billion to more than 1,400 Emirati companies until the end of the year 2016, which points to the economic and competitive opportunities available for national companies in the nuclear energy sector.
The UAE government cared for constant and strong cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and the different concerned governmental authorities, in order to adopt the best practices for developing the peaceful nuclear energy, which will assist the country’s government on fulfilling the requirements of the Paris Agreement for climate change signed in 2015 and ratified in 2016 which aims at minimising the carbonic emissions for the operations of producing electric energy.
The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is scheduled for completion in 2020, with construction having started in 2012. With four reactors online, the facility will deliver up to a quarter of the UAE’s electricity needs and save up to 12 million tons in carbon emissions every year.
The project at Barakah is progressing steadily. Overall, construction of Units 1 to 4 is around 75 percent complete. All four units will deliver safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE grid, pending regulatory reviews and licensing.