Construction starts on third Barakah unit

25 September 2014

The first safety concrete has been poured for the basemat of the containment building of the third reactor at the UAE's Barakah nuclear power plant, marking the official start of the unit's construction.

Barakah 3 first concrete 460 (WAM)
Pouring of first concrete for unit 3 is celebrated at Barakah (Image: WAM News Agency)

A concrete pouring ceremony was held on 24 September to mark the milestone. It was attended by representatives from Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco), Hyundai, Samsung and Doosan Heavy Industries. A total of some 1495 cubic meters of concrete was poured.

Enec, which received regulatory approval for the construction of Barakah 3 and 4 on 15 September, said that the pouring of first concrete at unit 3 follows 12 months of preparatory work. This included excavation work, lining the foundation pit and installing reinforcing steel bars.

Construction of the reactor containment building for unit 3 will be completed over the next three years, Enec said. It added that unit 3 is on track to enter commercial operation by 2019.

Enec CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said, "The concrete pouring is yet another key accomplishment for Enec and the UAE's peaceful nuclear energy program. Enec is working hard to reach its construction targets on schedule and deliver safe, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to the UAE starting by 2017."

In a $20 billion deal announced in December 2009, Enec selected a consortium led by 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. Enec said that unit 1 is now 57% complete, while construction of unit 2 is "also well underway." All four units at Barakah are scheduled to begin operating by 2020.

According to Enec, once all four units at Barakah are in operation, the plant will supply about a quarter of the UAE's electricity needs and save up to 12 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News