A view of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. File photo
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Nawah Energy Company and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) announced on Wednesday that the reactor of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant’s Unit 1 has achieved 80 per cent of its rated capacity power.
The milestone is an important step in the ongoing Power Ascension Testing (PAT) of Unit 1, which involves slowly raising the reactor power levels while collecting data and tuning control and safety systems.
Throughout this process, the systems of Unit 1 are monitored and tested to ensure their compliance with national regulatory requirements and the highest international standards of safety, quality, security and reliability.
The PAT is being conducted under the oversight of the UAE’s independent nuclear regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, which has conducted more than 280 inspections since the start of Barakah’s development.
Engineers at Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant Unit 1.
These national reviews have been supported by more than 40 assessments and peer reviews by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, and World Association of Nuclear Operators, WANO.
Nawah’s operations team at Unit 1 are now working to increase the plant’s electricity production to 100 percent capacity, marking the final stage of PAT. Following the achievement of 100 per cent power, Unit 1 will be gradually shut down to enable the commencement of a Check Outage.
During the Check Outage, which takes place over a period of several months, Unit 1’s systems will be carefully examined, and any planned or corrective maintenance will be performed to ensure its safety, reliability and security prior to the commencement of commercial operations.
The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, located in the Al Dhafra region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is the cornerstone of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme, which adheres to the highest international standards of safety, security, quality, transparency, and non-proliferation.
Through its role as the operator of the plant, Nawah is committed to ensuring that Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is operated in line with all regulatory requirements and in full cooperation and collaboration with all relevant local, regional, and international stakeholders.
Last year in June, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), the subsidiary created by Joint Venture partners Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to operate and maintain the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, has today signed a Long Term Maintenance Services Agreement (LTMSA) with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), supported by KEPCO Plant Service & Engineering (KPS).
Jaehoon Chung and Mark Reddemann after signing the LTMSA.
Mark Reddemann, Chief Executive Officer of Nawah, said: “We are delighted to have secured a long-term maintenance services relationship with KHNP and KPS. Through this agreement, we have created a robust framework of maintenance services providers that combine the best-in-class maintenance expertise in thermal and nuclear plant infrastructure and expertise in the APR1400 technology. The approval of these maintenance agreements stands as a firm commitment to securing the best international partners to ensure safe and quality-led nuclear maintenance at Barakah.”
Jaehoon Chung, President and Chief Executive Officer of KHNP, said: “Now we have opened another chapter for a comprehensive collaboration system under which Team Korea and Team UAE will work together as a team. KHNP and KPS will assign its talented resources with outstanding technical expertise including high-level officials to the Barakah plant to support its safe and reliable operation. We will proactively support the UAE in its endeavors to secure its own capabilities to successfully operate the plant through localisation. I am confident that Team Korea, as the only party across the globe that has experience in operating APR-1400, can contribute to the safe and reliable operations of the Barakah plant by playing a crucial role in its maintenance project. Furthermore, I hope our engagement in the project can continue to be extended.”
Unit 3 will add another 1,400 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity to the national grid, a major step forward in guaranteeing UAE energy security and energy sustainability to tackle climate change — two of the biggest challenges facing the world today.
The decision to issue the Operating Licence is a culmination of efforts made by FANR since it received the Operating Licence Application from ENEC, on behalf of Nawah, in 2015 for Units 1 and 2.
It will deliver 25 per cent of the UAE’s electricity with zero carbon emissions while also supporting economic diversification by creating thousands of high-value jobs through the establishment of a sustainable local nuclear energy industry and supply chain.
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