Application in for next two Barakah units

04 March 2013

An application for the construction of units 3 and 4 at the new Barakah plant in the UAE has been submitted by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) to the country's nuclear regulator.

Enec announced that it submitted the 10,000-page application for Barakah units 3 and 4 to the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) on 1 March. The move, it said, was "the culmination of 18 months of intense work by Enec and its prime contractor, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco)."

UAE nuclear power plant (Enec)
Four units are planned for the Barakah plant (Image: Enec)

The application is based on that for Barakah units 1 and 2 and the safety analysis completed for Kepco's Shin Kori units 3 and 4 in South Korea. These are the reference units for the Barakah plant. Enec earlier said that its reactors will be "essentially the same" as those units "but supplemented with changes required to adapt to the UAE climatic conditions and any specific requirements for FANR." These differences relate to a 50 Hertz output instead of 60 Hertz, as well as higher temperatures and the possibility of sand storms.

The construction licence application also includes the design changes identified from lessons learned from the Fukushima accident.

Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi commented, "This marks another important milestone in our program as we work towards delivering safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE." He added, "The team has worked diligently to deliver to our regulator a comprehensive, high-quality application that draws from all the experience we have gained - through our reference plants in Korea, the lessons learned from Fukushima, and our own experience with the first application process for units 1 and 2."

In a $20 billion deal announced in December 2009, Enec selected a Korean consortium led by Kepco to build four APR-1400 reactors. All four units planned for Barakah, close to the border with Saudi Arabia, should be in operation by 2020.

Approval of construction licence application for units 1 and 2 came in July 2012. Enec said that construction work on the first two units is progressing on schedule. First concrete for unit 1 was poured the day after the construction licence was issued, while extensive preparatory work is underway at unit 2. First concrete for unit 2 expected to be poured by mid-2013. Unit 1 is scheduled to be completed in 2017, with unit 2 following a year later.

Unit 3 is scheduled to begin commercial operation in May 2019, with unit 4 following in May 2020.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News