Second Barakah unit takes shape

20 April 2016

Construction of the containment building dome of unit 2 at the Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates has been completed, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) announced yesterday.

Barakah 2 dome completion - 460 (Enec)
Construction workers celebrate the completion of Barakah 2's dome (Image: Enec)

The dome is the final structural component of the reactor containment building which will house the nuclear reactor itself and is "a critical structure in the nuclear plant's defence-in-depth barriers", Enec said. It is designed to confine and contain radiation in the event of an accident.

The dome - which measures 51.4 metres in diameter, 24 metres in height and weighs some 9000 tonnes - was constructed in nine stages, Enec said. The next phase of work on the reactor containment building - which now measures more than 70 metres in height - will involve the installation of the containment post-tensioning system, which is used for pre-stressing the concrete structure. This will be followed by a three-month structural integrity test.

Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi welcomed the milestone saying, "With the completion of the dome of unit 2, we are proud to have maintained our track record of safety and efficiency. The construction of nuclear energy plants is immensely complex and not only involves highly technical infrastructure but thousands of people working under the highest standards of safety, security and quality."

Construction of the first of four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurized water reactors at Barakah, about 80 km west of the town of Ruwais, began in 2012. Barakah 1 is now over 87% complete, with a start-up target date of 2017. Construction began on unit 2 in 2013, and is now 68% complete, while work began on units 3 and 4 in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Overall, construction of the four units at the site is over 62% complete, Enec said. All four units should be in operation by 2020.

According to Enec, once completed, the four reactors will supply about one-quarter of the UAE's electricity and avoid up to 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News