The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has completed construction of unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. The unit has now been officially handed to Nawah Energy Company, Enec’s operating and maintenance subsidiary.
“With the achievement of this strategic milestone, unit 2 has cleared its construction phase and the focus now shifts to completing the operational readiness preparations, testing, regulatory inspections, and international assessments required for Nawah to obtain the operating licence for unit 2 from the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR),” Enec noted.
This was preceded completion of hot functional testing in August 2018, and completion of structural integrity testing and integrated leak rate testing in March 2019.
Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi, said: “The completion of unit 2 construction activities in adherence to the highest international standards of safety, security and quality, and the handover of all systems to Nawah for commissioning are important milestones that reflect the dedication and skill of everyone involved in the UAE peaceful nuclear energy programme."
"These achievements also highlight the benefits of building four identical reactors simultaneously, as the lessons learned during the construction of unit 1 have contributed to the successful development of units 2, 3 and 4 of the Barakah Plant.”
He added that the achievement was also testament to “successful collaboration" with KEPCO as the prime contractor and joint venture partner.
Barakah 2 completed a number of individual and combined system tests, as part of the first phase of its Initial Testing Programme (ITP).
In addition to the ITP, Enec, KEPCO, and Nawah are also conducting a comprehensive review programme in preparation for operation. Once Nawah staff have confirmed that the plant, its people and related programmes, processes and procedures are all ready, they will seek the approval of FANR to begin the loading of the first nuclear fuel assemblies and to begin startup activities.
Prior to granting its approval, FANR is carrying out detailed inspections and reviews of all aspects of the plant and the operating organisation. Barakah 2 and its operating team are also undergoing a number of assessments by independent international nuclear energy experts from the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO).
Construction of the UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant, with four Korean APR-1400 reactors, began in 2012. Construction of Barakah units 3 and 4 are 92% and 85% complete, while the construction of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now 94% complete.
Photo: Barakah 1 and 2 in the UAE (Photo credit: ENEC)