More groundwork at Braka

08 March 2012

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has received the go-ahead for additional civil works at the site of the first nuclear power plant to be built in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

FANR and Enec staff on site at Braka in 2010 (Image: FANR)

The UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) plus environmental regulator the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) have approved amendments to the limited construction licence issued to Enec in July 2010 for preparatory work at the Braka site in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. 

The additional work includes pouring a thin layer of concrete at the bottom of the excavation to create a smooth, flat surface in readiness for the installation of the concrete basemat. The pouring of the basemat concrete, often referred to as 'first concrete', is generally recognised as the point at which a reactor can be classified as officially 'under construction' and cannot take place until a full construction licence is granted.

The amended limited construction licence also provides for the installation of waterproofing material over the levelled concrete, plus the installation of encasement piping and of a protective layer of concrete to support the installation of reinforcing steel (rebar) at a later date. The works are aimed at establishing the final plant grade levels and preparing the surface for the installation of structural rebar for the reactor and auxiliary buildings.

Enec plans ultimately to build four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurised water reactors at Braka. It submitted a construction licence application for the first two units in December 2010, and anticipates pouring the concrete basemat for the first unit in December 2012.

Late in 2011 Enec submitted an overall assessment of lessons learned from Japan's 2011 Fukushima accident to FANR, which the regulator says has suggested a number of design enhancements to increase plant safety. FANR is currently reviewing Enec's evaluation as part of the construction licence application process.

The Braka units are to be built by a consortium led by the Korea Electric Power Co (Kepco) and take the APR-1400s nearing completion at Korea's Shin Kori 3 and 4 as their reference. Braka unit 1 is pencilled in to enter commercial service in 2017, with all four units at the site envisaged as operational by 2020.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News