By Bernd Debusmann Jr
As a whole, the Barakah plant is now 94% complete
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has successfully completed the construction of Unit 2 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region, it was announced on Tuesday.
The unit has now officially been handed over to the ENEC’s operating and maintenance subsidiary – Nawah – for operational readiness activities, testing, regulatory inspections and international assessments.
The accomplishment was preceded by the successful completion of hot functional testing (HFT) in August 2018, as well as structure integrity testing (SIT) and integrated leak rate testing (ILRT) in March 2019.
“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 programme,” said ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi. “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.”
As per UAE law, the construction and operation of nuclear energy plants are subject to regulation from the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR). Once Nawah staff has confirmed that the plant, its people and related programmes are ready, it will seek FANR’s approval to begin the loading of nuclear fuel assemblies and commence start-up.
Construction of the plant began in 2012, with construction of units 3 and 4 at 92 percent and 85 percent complete, respectively.
As a whole, the Barakah plant is now 94 percent complete.