Another step forward for UAE nuclear plant

1 December 2015


Unit 2 at the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates has completed construction of the steel containment liner plate, placement of the upper dome, and the lifting into place of the unit's pressurizer.

This is the second of four Korean-designed APR1400 pressurised water reactors being built at the site by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation. The containment building and liner plate will house the reactor vessel, and form the reactor's third radiological protective barrier after the fuel rods and reactor coolant system. The 2000t liner plate has been constructed in stages. Installing the 19 separate liner rings took about 15 months. The liner plate will now be covered in concrete to complete the reactor containment building structure.

The 140t pressurizer was lifted into position in the reactor containment building ready for assembly over the coming months. It is one of the last major components of the reactor coolant system to be placed in the containment building. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said the roof frame for unit 2's control room has also been lifted into place.

Unit 2 is almost 60% complete and is scheduled to start up in 2018, a year after unit 1, which is now more than 81% complete. Enec is awaiting approval from the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (Fanr) for operating licences for the first two units. All four units are scheduled to be complete by 2020 and will have a combined generating capacity of approximately 5,600MWe. In September, Enec received regulatory approval for the construction of units 3&4.

Australia recently finalised its nuclear cooperation agreement with the UAE under which it will supply uranium for Barakah. Earlier in November Fanr director-general Christer Victorsson told NucNet that the nuclear build programme in the UAE has benefitted from the government having put a clear policy in place and from "serious interaction" with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The government used IAEA guidance for newcomers, and the final policy was the result of a consultation process with stakeholders both at home and abroad, he said.



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