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Tests carried out at UAE nuclear plant Barakah

Structural Integrity Test and Integrated Leak Rate Test were performed at Unit 1 of the nuclear plant that is currently 65% constructed, it has been revealed

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Construction site of the Barakah plant.
Construction site of the Barakah plant.

By Neha Bhatia

The UAE's Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said it has completed certain important tests at Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

The completion of these tests is a landmark in the plant's commissioning works. Unit 1 of Barakah is now 88% complete, while Unit 2 is 72% ready. Unit 3 is 50% complete and Unit 4 is 31% complete.

Overall construction of the four units stands at 65%. Unit 1's Structural Integrity Test (SIT) and Integrated Leak Rate Test (ILRT) were performed over a period of several weeks, with the UAE's Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) overseeing the procedures.

Both these tests determine a structure's integrity and robustness in terms of force and leak tightness, and its ability to perform safely under normal and extraordinary circumstances.

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.

ILRT assesses the leak tightness of the containment building under a variety of conditions.

The 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 required safety standards.

ENEC’s teams worked closely with Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) and FANR throughout the complex testing process.

The tests form part of the structure's commissioning phase, WAM reported.

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.

Remarking on the tests, Mohamed Al Hammadi, CEO of ENEC, said: "We are proud to have maintained our track record of safety and quality with the completion of SIT and ILRT.

"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," Al Hammadi added.

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