Abu Dhabi- On February 15, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) started the testing of the structural integrity of the core system of its nuclear reactors to be built in the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant located in the United Arab Emirates.
A crucial milestone was reached on Tuesday in preparing the UAE’s nuclear power plant for commercial operations.
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced the completion of Cold Hydrostatic Testing (CHT) at Unit 1 in Barakah.
The CHT checks that welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems meet quality standards, as per the regulations of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).
During the testing, previously processed water filled the primary circuit and was circulated by the reactor coolant pumps. These pumps will help to maintain a safe temperature inside the reactor during operations.
The project launching ceremony was attended by the UAE government personnel including Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy, and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi as well as the top management of the ENEC.
The KEPCO announced that the ceremony marked the beginning of the full-scale installation and testing of main equipment and facilities in the Barakah Power Plant.
Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, noted, “With the completion of CHT at Unit 1 and the energization of the switchyard, we are moving closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our nation’s electricity needs with low-carbon, sustainable nuclear energy.”
The switchyard connects the generation capabilities of the plant with the transmission network of the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (TRANSCO) and the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA), allowing electricity that will be generated at the plant to be carried to UAE homes and businesses. This also enables the plant to draw power from the transmission grid to support commissioning and operational testing.
Barakah 1 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.