In the April 2017 issue of Nuclear News:
By Dick Kovan
In January 2017, with the United Arab Emirates’ Barakah nuclear power plant carrying out preparations to commence operation later this year of the first of its four units, the UAE’s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) issued two crucial fuel licenses. The first, for the transport of fresh fuel to the Barakah plant, was issued to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), and the second, for the handling and storage of the fuel at Unit 1, was issued to the plant operator, the Nawah Energy Company. An operating license must also be issued before fuel can be loaded into Unit 1.
The application for an operating license for the first two units was submitted to FANR in March 2015 and is being reviewed. ENEC expects to obtain the license by the end of this year.
The Barakah plant will consist of four 1,400-MWe APR1400 nuclear power units supplied by a consortium led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco). The station, which will generate up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity, is located at Barakah in the Western Region (recently renamed the Al Dhafra Region) of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on the Arabian Gulf, approximately 33 miles west–southwest of the city of Ruwais. The selection of Barakah as the plant site was based on several factors, including environmental, technical, and commercial, following a comprehensive evaluation process led by local and international experts. FANR issued a site selection license in February 2010.
Project preparations got under way in July 2010, when FANR and the Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD) issued two preliminary work licenses. The site preparation license allowed ENEC to start the installation of site infrastructure not directly related to the nuclear reactors, such as roads, telecommunication networks, and site administration buildings. The limited construction license authorized the manufacture and assembly of select components, including long lead-time items such as reactor pressure vessels, steam generators, and coolant pumps.
Every aspect of the work is subject to approval and oversight by FANR. Since 2010, FANR has conducted over 120 inspections at the site and of the vendors to ensure that the licensee complies with FANR’s regulations and any conditions set out in the licenses.
The start of construction
The construction of Unit 1 at the Barakah site began in July 2012, following the receipt of a construction license from FANR for the first pair of units and a “no objection” certificate from EAD. Construction on Unit 2 began in April 2013. A construction license for the second pair of units was issued in September 2014, and work on them started in September 2014 and July 2015, respectively.
This is an excerpt from an article that appears in the Special Section on Construction and Supply Chain in the April 2017 issue of Nuclear News. The complete article begins on page 26; members can also access it at www.ans.org — click on Member Center; log in with your e-mail address and password; and click on the heading for the current issue of Nuclear News.