Unit 1 of the Barakah plant from the Al Dhafrah area of Abu Dhabi began generating heat on Saturday, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said in a statement. Unit 1 is the very first of this plant’s four nuclear reactors to start. The firm stated the construction of Unit 2 has completed lately, although the other two reactors are still being assembled — although the initial schedule called for the plant to become operational by 2017.Once finished, the four reactors, that can be utilizing South Korean technologies, should create 5.6 gigawatts of power and provide up to 25% of the UAE’s power requirements, the firm stated. Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, the company’s chief executive, said that the reactor’s launching was “a truly historic moment for the UAE.””We’re another step closer to attaining our objective of providing around a quarter of our country’s power needs and diluting its own potential expansion with secure, dependable, and emissions-free power,” he explained in a statement. The plant is part of the UAE’s strategy to become more reliant on oil and gasoline, the present origin of the great majority of its energy. UAE is one of the world’s largest fossil fuels manufacturers. It’s witnessed a fast economic development in recent decades owing to the gas and oil production, making up nearly a third of its GDP. It’s exported $50 billion worth of crude petroleum in 2019 alone. Nevertheless, the speedy development of the market has also meant a massive gain in the nation’s energy requirement and the demand for other sources.The International Atomic Energy Agency, which manages the usage of nuclear power across the globe, hailed the plant’s launching as “a significant milestone.” However, some experts have questioned the requirement for its atomic power plant given that the nation’s potential to create solar power along with the worries surrounding nuclear energy from the Middle East.Paul Dorfman, who heads the Atomic Consulting Group and is a researcher in UCL’s Energy Institute, has cautioned the UAE’s investment to the plant “threats further afield the volatile Gulf region, damaging the environment and increasing the possibility of nuclear proliferation.” In an opinion piece published earlier this year, Dorfman argued that the investment into the new plant is “strange” given the falling prices of renewable energy technology and rising costs of nuclear power generation.”Since new nuclear seems to make little economic sense in the Gulf, which has some of the best solar energy resources in the world, the nature of Emirate interest in nuclear may lie hidden in plain sight — nuclear weapon proliferation,” he wrote. Jim Krane, an energy studies fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, said that based purely on costs, the nuclear plant was “an uncompetitive choice” for the UAEHowever, he highlighted its strategic importance of becoming the third nuclear-competent state in the Middle East after Israel and Iran.”Strategically, nuclear energy is a big deal for a state that has moved quickly from a doctrine of noninterventionist neutrality to one of active participation in conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond,” he wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The UAE has stressed its atomic energy program, which started from 2009, is strictly peaceful. In a statement, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation said it worked closely with international atomic bodies, including its International Atomic Energy Agency, from creating the plant.