Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has successfully completed Cold Hydrostatic Testing (CHT) at Unit 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. The testing incorporated the lessons learned from the previous three units and is a crucial step towards the completion of Unit 4.
Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is the Arab world’s first nuclear energy plant being built in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Its primary objective was to power the UAE’s future growth with safe, reliable, and emissions-free electricity.
The four units at Barakah will generate up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity demand by producing 5,600 MW of clean baseload electricity, and preventing the release of 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year – the equivalent of removing 3.2 million cars off the roads annually.
Mohammed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC said: “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.”
Three steps followed in the CHT are:
- Prior to the commencement of CHT, Unit 4’s Nuclear Steam Supply Systems were flushed with demineralized water, and the Reactor Pressure Vessel Head and Reactor Coolant Pump Seals were installed.
- As a part of CHT, the pressure inside Unit 4’s systems was increased to 25 percent above what will be the normal operating pressure, demonstrating the quality and robust nature of the Unit’s construction.
- During the Cold Hydrostatic Testing, the welds, joints, pipes, and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems were verified.
This accomplishment is considered as another step closer to achieving the goal of supplying up to a quarter of the nation’s electricity needs.
By the end of 2019, ENEC and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) had successfully completed all major construction work including major concrete pouring, installation of the Turbine Generator, and the internal components of the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) of Unit 4, which paved the way for the commencement of testing and commissioning.
ENEC is currently in the final stages of construction of units 2, 3, and 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. The overall construction of the four units is more than 94% complete. Unit 4 is more than 84 percent, Unit 3 is more than 92 percent and Unit 2 is more than 95 percent.
The testing at Unit 4 represents a significant achievement in the development of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, following the successful completion of fuel assembly loading into Unit 1 in March 2020, confirming that the UAE has officially become peaceful nuclear energy operating nation. Preparations are now in the final stages for the safe start-up of Unit 1 in the coming months.