The plant’s four units will supply up to 25% of the UAE’s electricity by producing 5,600MW of clean, baseload electricity
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said that it has successfully completed cold hydrostatic testing (CHT) on Unit 4 at the UAE’s first nuclear power plant. ENEC notes testing incorporated lessons learned from the previous three units and is a crucial step towards the completion of the final unit.
As a part of the CHT test, the pressure inside Unit 4’s systems was increased to 25% above normal operating pressure, demonstrating the quality and robust nature of the unit’s construction, ENEC said.
Ahead of the CHT test, Unit 4’s nuclear steam supply systems were flushed with demineralised water, and the reactor pressure vessel head and reactor coolant pump seals were installed. During the cold hydrostatic testing, the welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems were verified, ENEC explained.
“I am proud of the continued progress being made at Barakah despite the circumstances we have all faced in relation to COVID-19. The UAE leadership’s decisive and proactive response to the pandemic supported us in taking timely, safety-led actions to protect the health and safety of our workforce and our plant. These actions, alongside the efforts of our talented and dedicated workforce, have enabled the successful completion of CHT at Unit 4, which was completed in adherence to the highest standards of safety, quality, and security,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC.
He added, “With this accomplishment, we move another step closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our nation’s electricity needs and powering its future growth with safe, reliable, and emissions-free electricity.”
ENEC and Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) are said to have completed all major construction work at the plant by the end of 2019. This milestone paved the way for the commencement of testing and commissioning, the statement said.
The testing at Unit 4 is said to represent a significant achievement in the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. It follows the successful completion of fuel assembly loading into Unit 1 in March 2020, and is said to confirm the UAE has officially become a peaceful nuclear energy operating nation. Preparations are now in the final stages for the safe start-up of Unit 1 in the coming months, ENEC explained.
ENEC says it is in the final stages of construction of Units 2, 3 and 4, while the overall construction of the four units is said to be more than 94% complete.