Testing milestone for Barakah 1

16 February 2016

Cold hydrostatic testing has been completed at the United Arab Emirates' first nuclear unit at Barakah, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) announced today.

Celebrating the completion of cold hydraulic testing at Barakah 1 (Image: Enec)

Cold hydrostatic testing involves filling the reactor's primary circuit with water, which is circulated by the reactor coolant pumps to verify that the welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems meet regulatory standards. The coolant pumps will help to maintain the reactor's internal temperature at a safe level during operations.

Enec also announced completion of energization of the electrical switchyard for Barakah units 1 and 2, an essential step to allow the completion of cold hydrostatic testing. The switchyard connects the plant to the transmission grid, enabling the plant to draw power to support commissioning and operational testing. Its energization follows the signature last week of an agreement between Enec and the Abu Dhabi Transmission and Despatch Company (Transco) to allow electricity generated at Enec's nuclear plants to be transmitted over Transco's power lines.

The completion of the testing was marked with a ceremony attended by the UAE's under-secretary for energy, Mater Al Nayedi, and senior officials from Enec and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), leader of the consortium building the four units at Barakah.

Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said the company was continuing to work to achieve its strategic goals. "With the completion of cold hydraulic testing at unit 1 and the energization of the switchyard, we are moving closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our nation's electricity needs with low-carbon, sustainable nuclear energy," he said.

Construction of the first of four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurized water reactors at Barakah, about 50 km from the town of Ruwais, began in 2012. Barakah 1 is now over 84% complete, with a start-up target date of 2017. Construction began on unit 2 in 2013, and is now 64% 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 58% complete, Enec said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News