Enec prepares UAE site for reactors

17 October 2011

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has applied to the national regulator for approval to carry out additional preparatory work at the site of the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear power plant.


UAE nuclear power plant (Enec)
How the Braka plant, comprising four APR-1400 units, could look (Image: Enec)


Enec said that it has requested that the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) make changes to its limited construction licence so that preparatory excavations can be done for the first two reactor buildings at the Braka site before the full construction licence is issued.


The company said that it wants to create a "smooth flat surface at the bottom of the excavation in preparation for pouring of the initial safety concrete for units 1 and 2." It also wants to place "reinforcing steel and embedded piping as well as electrical conduits and electrical grounding material in preparation for pouring concrete for the reactor building."


In July 2010, FANR and the Environment Agency approved licences for non-safety-related preparations at Braka, such as the construction of a jetty, and a limited license for the manufacture of major components taking place already in South Korea. However, Enec is currently not allowed to pour the first concrete for the reactor buildings until it has been granted a construction licence by FANC.


"We understand that they want to gain more time, and we do want to meet their schedule, but we have a responsibility to ensure safety and assess every aspect of these applications," a FANR spokesman told UAE's The National newspaper. FANC officials have said the agency aims to complete the review of the licensing application by mid-2012, according to the report.


In a $20 billion deal, the company has selected a Korean consortium to build four APR-1400 reactor at the site, 52 kilometres from Ruwais, coming online between 2017 and 2020.


Enec submitted its construction licence application for Braka units 1 and 2 on 27 December 2010. It plans to pour the first concrete for unit 1 in late 2012, with that for unit 2 following a year later.


The reference plant for the Braka units is Shin Kori 3 and 4, nearing completion in the south east of South Korea. Enec said 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."


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News