Pre-operational testing for unit 2 of the United Arab Emirate's Barakah Nuclear Power Plant has been completed, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) announced on Monday.
According to the company’s statement, Hot Functional Testing (HFT) on unit 2 has been successfully completed.
"This significant pre-operational testing process incorporated all lessons learned from the same test on unit 1 in order to achieve the highest international standards of quality, safety and efficiency," the company said.
The statement explained that HFT takes place over a number of weeks and consists of almost 200 individual and integrated tests performed on major systems to check their performance under normal operational conditions, without the presence of nuclear fuel in the reactor.
"The pre-operational commissioning phase of a nuclear energy plant is a complex and critical step towards starting to operate the plant. It is essential that it is tested under operational conditions without nuclear fuel to demonstrate that the highest standards of safety, security and quality are achieved," CEO of ENEC, Mohamed Al Hammadi.
The plant will have four reactors with a power capacity of 1,400 megawatts.
Construction of the second unit began in April 2013, one year after the first unit.
As of end of June, the construction progress rate of the second unit was 93 percent while the overall construction progress rate for the four units is now over 89 percent.
The four reactors will supply up to 25 percent of the kingdom's electricity needs and save up to 21 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA).
Start-up of its first reactor is scheduled at the latest in 2020. On July 25, the first unit received an electricity generation license from the U.A.E.'s Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation. However, it also needs to obtain an operating license.
By Firdevs Yuksel