Next Stage of Testing Completed at Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant

Structural Integrity Test (SIT) and Integrated Leak Rate Test (ILRT) completed for Unit 1

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has recently completed important tests at Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. This represents another major achievement in the testing and commissioning phase of the plant.

The Structural Integrity Test (SIT) and Integrated Leak Rate Test (ILRT) were performed over a period of several weeks, on Unit 1 at Barakah, with the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) providing full oversight, and conforming to the highest international standards of safety and quality.  Both of these tests demonstrate the integrity and robustness of the structure in terms of force and leak tightness, and the structure’s ability to perform safely under normal and extraordinary circumstances.

The SIT evaluates the strength of the Reactor Containment Building (RCB), the structure at the heart of the plant, which houses the reactor and major components, by pressurizing and depressurizing the building to simulate regular and extraordinary conditions. Similarly, the ILRT assesses the leak tightness of the containment building under a variety of conditions.

“We are proud to have maintained our track record of safety and quality with the completion of the Structural Integrity Test and Integrated Leak Rate Test. The commissioning phase of a nuclear energy plant is a critical step towards the first fuel load. Before loading the fuel it is essential that the plant is tested under the highest standards of safety, security and quality,” said Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC CEO.

“With the completion of these tests on Unit 1, 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. Our work at Barakah continues to support the UAE’s energy mix strategy as well as the future social and economic growth of the UAE,” added Al Hammadi.

The excellent results of both tests show that the RCB can perform its primary function – to contain radiation and prevent any radioactive release into the environment – under normal operation conditions as well as emergencies and extraordinary events. The tests also show that the RCB was constructed in accordance with the highest international safety standards, exceeding expectations and displaying exemplary quality performance.

ENEC’s teams worked closely with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and FANR, throughout the complex testing process. The testing is part of the commissioning phase, and has been progressing with the highest standards of safety and quality assurance.

Other recent commissioning milestones completed safely and successfully on Unit 1 include Reactor Systems Flushing, Turbine Lube Oil Flushing, and Cold Hydrostatic Testing (CHT), which verified that the reactor coolant system and other associated systems met FANR’s regulations.

The project at Barakah is progressing steadily, Unit 1 is now 88 percent complete, Unit 2 is 72 percent complete, Unit 3 is 50 percent complete and Unit 4 is 31 percent complete. Overall, construction of Units 1 to 4 is now more than 65 percent complete. All four units will deliver safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE grid, pending regulatory reviews and licensing.

When the four reactors are completed, the UAE’s peaceful nuclear energy program will provide approximately 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs and save up to 12 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.