The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has successfully completed cold hydrostatic testing of unit 1 at the United Arab Emirates' Barakah NPP. The testing consisted of operating the primary coolant loop with water, but at lower-than-operating temperatures and without fuel in the reactor core. Enec said the testing verified that welds, joints, pipes and components met regulatory requirements. Barakah 1 is the first of four planned APR1400 units being built for Enec by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Company.
Enec also announced completion of energization of the electrical switchyard for Barakah units 1 and 2, an essential step to allow completion of the cold hydrostatic testing. The switchyard connects the plant to the transmission grid, enabling the plant to draw power to support commissioning and operational testing. Its energization follows the signature last week of an agreement between Enec and the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (Transco) to allow electricity generated at Enec's nuclear plants to be transmitted over Transco's power lines.
Construction of Barakah 1 began in 2012 and is now over 84% complete, with a start-up target date of 2017. Construction began on unit 2 in 2013, and is now 64% complete, while work began on units 3 and 4 in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Overall, construction of the four units at the site is over 58% complete, Enec said.
Meanwhile, the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) has launched an automated service to improve its interactions with users of nuclear- and radiation-related activities in the UAE, a statement said. FANR's E-Licensing service, available on the FANR website, allows UAE entities to carry out many of their licence-related procedures, such as applying for new or renewed licences, applying to import, export or transport radioactive materials, and submitting routine operating records. These records enable FANR to build a national dose register and national source register which are FANR functions according to law. The new system will enable FANR to consider licensee requests and reports more rapidly and accurately, a statement said.