The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has completed construction of Unit 2 at the Barakah nuclear plant, the company announced on July 14. The plant, the Arab world’s first such facility, is located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital city.
Hot functional testing of the unit had been completed in August 2018, followed by structural integrity testing and integrated leak rate testing in March last year.
With construction complete, the unit has now been officially turned over to Nawah Energy Company, ENEC’s operating and maintenance subsidiary. According to the announcement, the focus at Barakah-2 now shifts to completing the operational readiness preparations, regulatory inspections, and international assessments required for obtaining an operating license from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, the UAE’s nuclear regulator.
What they’re saying: “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 program,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of ENEC. “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.”
Background: The Barakah plant houses four 1,345-MWe APR-1400 pressurized water reactors, supplied by the Korea Electric Power Corporation. Construction of Unit 1 was completed in March 2018, and fuel loading was completed in March this year. Commercial operation of Barakah-1 is scheduled for later in 2020.
According to ENEC, construction of Barakah-3 and -4 are 92 percent and 85 percent complete, respectively, while construction of the plant as a whole stands at 94 percent complete.
Once the four reactors are online, they will provide approximately 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity and prevent the release of up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions annually—the equivalent of removing 3.2 million autos off the roads each year—ENEC said.