Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and contractor Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) have installed the first sections of the 2000-ton steel containment liner plate for the UAE's first nuclear reactor, Barakah 1.
The containment liner plate is a cylindrical steel shell that forms the inner wall, ceiling, and floor of the reactor containment building. It is "one of the many" defence-in-depth barriers that ensures the safety of nuclear energy plants, ENEC said.
A total of 19 separate liner rings make up the massive structure, which is 45 meters in diameter and 3 meters high.
The floor and the first two levels of the liner plate were made off site and have been installed over the last two months, ENEC said. The next three levels of the liner were fabricated and welded together onsite. In the third week of March, they were lifted into place by a very heavy lift Terrex Crawler Crane (capacity 1600 tons) and installed.
Fabrication and installation of the remaining 14 sections of the containment plate liner will continue "over the next ten months," according to ENEC.
ENEC said that construction of Barakah 'continues to progress on schedule'. It plans to apply for an operating licence for unit 1 in 2015, and the reactor is expected to being operation in 2017.
ENEC also said that it expects to pour first concrete for Barakah 2 in 2013. First operation of unit 2 is envisaged for 2018. Two further APR1400 reactors are planned for the site, beginning operation in 2019 and 2020.