Testing set to begin on third reactor at UAE’s nuclear plant

The start-up of operations at the nuclear power plant has been delayed



The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has completed all the major construction work of the third unit at its Barakah nuclear plant in Abu Dhabi, it announced on Tuesday.

Major concrete pouring and installation of the turbine generator and the internal components of the Reactor Vessel (RV) have been completed, a statement said.

The third reactor is also fully connected to the Abu Dhabi Transmission & Despatch Company’s (TRANSCO’s) transmission grid.

Preparations are now on for commissioning of its mechanical and electrical systems and significant testing, ENEC said.

The completion of major construction work on Unit 3 comes approximately one year after the completion of the similar work on Unit 2, and two years after the completion of the same work on Unit 1.

Construction crews will now begin transitioning from the third reactor to the fourth – and final – unit in the plant.

The $24.4bn plant is the world’s largest nuclear project under construction and will be the first in the Arab world. The plant has total capacity of 5,600MW of electricity.

Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is building the four reactors simultaneously.

As of the May-end, the construction completion of Unit 2 stood at over 93 per cent, Unit 3 at 83 per cent, and Unit 4 at 72 per cent, while the overall construction completion stood at 89 per cent.

The construction of the first reactor has been completed and it is currently undergoing commissioning and testing, prior to the final regulatory reviews and receipt of the operating licence from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

In May, ENEC confirmed that the start-up of the plant’s first nuclear reactor had been delayed, with operations expected to begin between the end of 2019 and early 2020.

Read: UAE’s first nuclear reactor start-up delayed

However, earlier this month, FANR said that that start of operations at the nuclear power plant would depend on the outcome of further reviews of the project.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said its Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review team completed their third phase review of the UAE’s nuclear project and has identified areas that need further action before starting operations.

Raoul Awad, the deputy director of general operations of FANR, said they were reviewing the licence for the operator to ensure that it fulfills all safety and regulatory requirements.

Read more: Start-up of delayed UAE nuclear reactor depends on review outcome