The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said Tuesday that technicians had completed Cold Hydrostatic Testing for Unit 2 at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant located in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi.
Cold Hydrostatic Testing is a series of tests that certifies the condition of a components and structures associated with the reactor's cooling system. ENEC said the testing was completed approximately 12 months after the same tests were concluded for the new plant's Unit 1 reactor.
The test “demonstrates a commitment to achieving the highest international quality and safety standards,” which will be applied to all four units at Barakah.
The CHT verifies that welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems are in line with the regulations of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the country's primary watchdog for nuclear power projects, of which the Barakah Plant is the country's first.
The testing, which is a crucial step in preparing the Unit 2 for nuclear operation, was preceded by the integrated flushing of the Unit’s Nuclear Steam Supply Systems (NSSS).
“Achieving CHT for Unit 2 is of great significance to the Barakah project,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC Chief Executive Officer. “As the delivery of the four nuclear units progresses, we ensure that all of the organizations working on the Barakah plant, the biggest nuclear construction project in the world, continuously look to improve the delivery of our program through our acquired knowledge from preceding tests, units and works; making our project more quality and safety driven, as well as efficient,” he said.
Mohamed Al Hammadi expressed his gratitude towards the prime contractor and joint venture partner, the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO).
“ENEC and the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program are an investment in the nation’s energy future as well as an engine of growth for the UAE economy in line with Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030. Through the provision of clean, efficient and reliable energy and the creation of high-value jobs in parallel industries, the UAE peaceful nuclear energy sector ensures continued prosperity for the nation,” concluded Al Hammadi.
Preceding the commencement of CHT, the Unit’s NSSS were flushed with demineralized water before the Reactor Pressure Vessel Head and Reactor Coolant Pump Seals were installed. Following the installation of the seals, CHT began with previously processed water filling the primary circuit and being circulated by the reactor coolant pumps. These pumps will help to maintain the required operating temperature inside the reactor during operations.
Inspection teams from Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP), and the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), along with ENEC and Nawah Energy Company commissioning oversight and quality surveillance personnel, performed detailed system inspections, verifying that all components and piping systems functioned as originally designed. Following the inspections and a review of the collected data, CHT was declared successfully completed.
Since its inception in 2009, ENEC has focused on the safe delivery of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program and the establishment of a nuclear energy industry and sector in the UAE. Construction of Unit 2 commenced in 2013, and now is over 85 percent completed. Overall, construction of Units 1 to 4 is now more than 82 percent complete.
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Did the RCS get pressurized to higher than operating pressure?