Work to start on third and fourth Barakah units

12 February 2014

Permission has been granted for civil works to start on the next two reactors of the UAE's nuclear power program.

First concrete at Barakah (Enec)_200
In July 2012 construction started on the first Barakah reactor

Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) is allowed to work on the "formwork, rebar, embedded anchor bolts, electrical conduits, steel plates and piping" for a range of buildings at Barakah 3 and 4. They include structures that will house the reactor itself as well those for the steam turbines, water intakes and auxiliary equipment.

A nuclear reactor can only be said to be under construction after the pouring of first concrete relevant to nuclear safety. To do this Enec needs to receive a construction license from regulators. It applied for this in March last year.

Two reactor units are already under construction at Barakah. For these Enec will apply for an operating licence next year. It  plans to complete construction, commission and start them up in time to generate electricity in 2017 and 2018. Units 3 and 4 should follow in 2019 and 2020. The reactors are APR1400 pressurized water reactors supplied by a South Korean consortium led by Kepco.

The four Barakah units will have a capacity of 5600 MWe, but ultimately the UAE wants 20,000 MWe nuclear capacity as part of a plan to meet energy demand that has been growing at 9% per year. The country's policy documents state it must have total installed generating capacity of 40,000 MWe by 2020. At that time, with Barakah in operation, nuclear power's baseload role would see it meet about 25% of electricity demand. Renewables are expected to provide up to 7%, domestic gas about 50% and imported gas the rest.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News