Cold testing complete at Barakah 3

17 December 2018

Cold hydrostatic testing has been completed at unit 3 of the United Arab Emirates' four-unit Barakah nuclear power plant, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has announced.

Barakah 3 (Image: ENEC)

Prior to the start of testing, the unit's nuclear steam supply systems were flushed with demineralised water, and the reactor pressure vessel head and reactor coolant pump seals were installed. The welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system were then verified. As part of the testing process, the pressure inside the unit's systems was increased to 25% above what will be its normal operating pressure.

Inspection teams from Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power and the Korea Electric Power Corporation, as well as commissioning oversight and quality surveillance teams from ENEC and its subsidiary Nawah Energy Company, the plant's future operator, performed detailed system inspections throughout the testing process.

ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said the successful completion of cold hydrostatic testing ensured the unit's coolant systems and high-pressure components meet the highest international standards of quality and safety, in line with the requirements of the UAE's nuclear regulator the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation. "C]ompletion of these tests approximately one year after the completion of the same testing on unit 2 demonstrates the experience we have gained from building four identical units at the same time," he said. Cold testing at Barakah 2 was completed in June 2017.

Construction of the four Korean-designed APR1400 reactors at Barakah, in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi, began in 2012. Unit 1 was declared complete earlier this year, and is expected to begin operations in late 2019 or early 2020. All main concrete works and heavy equipment lifting for the four nuclear reactor units was completed in October. Unit 3 is now more than 86% complete while overall units 1-4 are over 91% complete.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News