Reactor vessel installed at Barakah 2

18 June 2015

The reactor vessel for the second unit of the United Arab Emirates' (UAE's) first nuclear power plant under construction at Barakah has been installed. That of the first unit was installed in May 2014.

Barakah 2 vessel signing - 460 (Enec)
Sheikh Hamdan signs the reactor vessel (Image: Enec)

A ceremony was held yesterday to mark the installation of the vessel. Among the attendees was Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler's Representative in the Western Region. During the ceremony, Sheikh Hamdan signed the bottom of the reactor vessel.

The component - measuring 14.8 meters in height and 5.5 meters in diameter and weighing 533 tonnes - left on a ship from Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction's manufacturing plant in Changwon, South Korea, on 9 April.

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi was cited by the WAM news agency as saying, "The safe and successful installation of Enec's second reactor vessel is the culmination of many months of hard work and dedication to the highest standards of safety and quality from our team." He added, "It represents an important element of the vast construction program underway here at Barakah as we work towards the start of commercial operations in 2017 - the time when these reactors will begin producing the vital electricity needed to meet the country's rapidly growing energy demands and support our continued social and economic growth."

Sheikh Hamdan said, "I am proud to be here in Barakah today to witness the delivery of yet another safe and on-time milestone in the UAE's peaceful nuclear energy program."

He added, "Safe, clean and reliable nuclear energy has an important role to play in the future of our nation and in the Western Region in particular. The role of the peaceful nuclear energy program in the Western Region is instrumental and will bring many benefits, from the creation of high-value job opportunities to the emergence of a sophisticated new industrial sector to support operations in Barakah."

In a $20 billion deal announced in December 2009, Enec selected a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) to build four APR-1400 reactors. First concrete for Barakah 1 was poured in July 2012, while that for unit 2 was poured in May 2013. Construction of unit 1 is now more than 73% complete while unit 2 is 50% complete. Barakah 1 and 2 are scheduled to begin operating in 2017 and 2018, respectively. All four units at the plant are scheduled to start up by 2020.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News