The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced on 7 December that its operating and maintenance subsidiary, Nawah Energy Company had achieved 100% of the rated reactor power capacity for Unit 1 of the Barakah NPP — a key step towards starting commercial operations, scheduled in early 2021.
Barakah 1, one of four APR-1400 units being built by consortium led by Korea Electric Popwer Company, is now the biggest single source of electricity in the UAE. Achieving 100% power is one of the final steps of the Power Ascension Testing (PAT) phase of the start-up process for unit 1.
Nawah’s nuclear operators will carry out a series of tests before the reactor is safely shut down in preparation for the Check Outage. During this period, its systems will be carefully examined, and any planned or corrective maintenance will be performed to maintain its safety, reliability and efficiency prior to the commencement of commercial operations.
PAT is overseen by the independent national regulator – the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), which has conducted 287 inspections since the start of Barakah’s development. These independent reviews have been conducted alongside more than 40 assessments and peer reviews by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).
Construction of the Barakah nuclear power plant began in 2012. Construction of Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages being 93% and 87% complete respectively, benefitting from the experience and lessons learned during the construction of units 1 and 2. Construction of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 95% complete.
Photo: Barakah 1 is now operating at full power (Photo: Enec)