Development of the UAE’s second nuclear power reactor is in the completion stage

Development of the UAE’s second nuclear power reactor is almost in the completion stage with pre-operational testing well in progress.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) stated that it has successfully finished the hot functional testing on Unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

It mentioned that this notable pre-operational testing process included all lessons learned from the same test on Unit 1, adding that as of end of June, development of Unit 2 was 93 percent complete.

ENEC told that it worked closely with the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), the joint venture partner for the Barakah project, to reach the milestone in the testing and commissioning of Unit 2.

CEO of ENEC, Mohamed Al Hammadi stated, “Keeping construction progress approximately one year apart for each of the Units at Barakah makes it possible for us to implement all lessons learned from one Unit to the subsequent ones, in line with international best practices in the management of megaprojects”.

Hot functional testing occur over a number of weeks and constitutes almost 200 individual and integrated tests performed on major systems to check their performance under normal operational conditions, without the presence of nuclear fuel in the reactor.

ENEC mentioned that the test involves the first time that most of the reactor’s systems experience the operational temperature of nearly 300 degrees Celsius.

Al Hammadi said, “The pre-operational commissioning phase of a nuclear energy plant is a complex and critical step towards starting to operate the plant. It is essential that it is tested under operational conditions without nuclear fuel to demonstrate that the highest standards of safety, security and quality are achieved.”

Development of the Unit 2 started in April 2013, one year after Unit 1. The total construction progress rate for the four Units is now more than 89 percent.

Previous month it was reported that its first nuclear reactor would come online in late 2019 or early 2020.

The first of four reactors at the $20 billion Barakah plant had been due to come online previous year, but the introduction was delayed at the beginning til 2018 to make time for regulatory approvals and complete safety checks.

All four units are anticipated to save up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions every year, equivalent to removing 3.2 million cars from the roads.

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