The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said Tuesday that Cold Hydrostatic Testing (CHT) at Unit 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant had been completed.
The testing milestone marks an important step in the South Korean-built compact construction schedule with Unit 1 recently completing its first fuel loading. The plant is the Arab world’s first nuclear energy plant. It is being built in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, UAE.
The testing incorporated the lessons learned from all previous three units and is a crucial step towards the completion of Unit 4, the final unit of the Barakah plant.
As a part of CHT, the pressure inside Unit 4’s systems was increased to 25 percent above what will be the normal operating pressure, demonstrating the quality and robust nature of the Unit’s construction.
Prior to the commencement of CHT, Unit 4’s Nuclear Steam Supply Systems were flushed with demineralized water, and the Reactor Pressure Vessel Head and Reactor Coolant Pump Seals were installed. During the Cold Hydrostatic Testing, the welds, joints, pipes and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems were verified.
H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC said reflectively that he was “proud of the continued progress being made at Barakah despite the circumstances we have all faced in relation to COVID-19. The UAE leadership’s decisive and proactive response to the pandemic supported us in taking timely, safety-led actions to protect the health and safety of our workforce and our plant.”
To date, there has been no personnel at the plant site who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“With this accomplishment, we move another step closer to achieving our goal of supplying up to a quarter of our nation’s electricity needs and powering its future growth with safe, reliable, and emissions-free electricity,” Al Hammadi said.
By the end of 2019, ENEC and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) had successfully completed all major construction work including major concrete pouring, installation of the Turbine Generator, and the internal components of the Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) of Unit 4, which paved the way for the commencement of testing and commissioning.
The successful completion of fuel assembly loading into Unit 1 occurred in early March 2020. Preparations are now in the final stages for the safe start-up of Unit 1 in the coming months.
ENEC is currently in the final stages of construction for units 2, 3 and 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. The overall construction of the four units is more than 94 percent complete. Unit 4 is more than 84 percent finished, while Unit 3 is more than 92 percent and Unit 2 is more than 95 percent complete.
The four units at Barakah will generate up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity demand by producing 5,600 MW of clean baseload electricity, and preventing the release of 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year – the equivalent of removing 3.2 million cars off the roads annually.
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