Final Barakah dome complete

10 April 2018

The final dome structure has been completed at the United Arab Emirates' four-unit Barakah nuclear power plant, a key milestone for the project. The country has also inaugurated its first dosimetry laboratory to support radiation protection activities.

Celebrating completion of Barakah 4's dome (Image: Enec)

The dome is the final structural component of Barakah 4's reactor containment building, which houses the nuclear reactor vessel, steam generators and other major components. Its completion means that the majority of construction activities at the plant, in the Al Dhafrah region of Abu Dhabi, is complete. The unit's reactor coolant loop pipe welding and the setting of other key equipment have also been completed, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said yesterday.

Construction of Barakah 4 - one of four Korean-designed APR-1400 units being built for Enec by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) - began in 2015, and continues to benefit from lessons learned and experience gained by the teams responsible for the construction of the other three units, Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said. The unit is now 67% complete, he added. The next phase for the unit will be to start the transition from construction to testing and commissioning.

The completion of construction at Barakah 1 was celebrated in March at a ceremony attended by President Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The unit is currently undergoing a "comprehensive review in preparation for operations", Enec said. It must receive an operating licence from the UAE's nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), before fuel loading can commence and operations begin.

Units 2 and 3 are now respectively 92% and 81% complete, with overall completion of the the four-unit plant at 87%, Enec said.

Dosimetry laboratory launch

The FANR on 1 April inaugurated the country's first dosimetry laboratory at the Khalifa University of Science and Technology. The Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL) will be operated by FANR and will provide radiation measurement and calibration services for equipment used in the medical, industrial or nuclear sector, enabling licensees to comply with FANR regulations. Previously equipment had to be sent abroad for calibration.

The SSDL inauguration ceremony (Image: FANR)

"SSDL is one of cornerstones at FANR in building the radiation protection infrastructure in the UAE," FANR Director-General Christer Viktorsson said.

The SSDL last year passed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  proficiency tests demonstrating its technical capacity to provide radiation calibration services. In February it joined the IAEA/World Health Organisation SSDL Network of 80 laboratories in 67 countries, which is responsible for verifying that the services provided by national laboratories follow internationally accepted metrological standards.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News