Update on the progress of UAE’s first nuclear energy plant
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is building the UAE’s first nuclear energy plant at Barakah in the Dhafrah Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
To verify that Unit 1 at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant meets the highest international standards of quality and safety, ENEC is conducting a comprehensive testing program known collectively as the Initial Test Program (ITP). ENEC will also conduct these tests on the remaining three units at Barakah as they near completion.
The ITP takes Barakah Unit 1 on a journey of testing and confirming that the Unit’s systems are able to operate in accordance with the highest industry standards. The ITP testing is inspected by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the UAE’s independent regulatory body.
The first phase of the ITP is pre-operational testing designed to evaluate the plant’s systems and ensure they operate as designed before loading nuclear fuel assemblies. Each test represents an important milestone in Unit 1’s journey toward achieving its mission of delivering safe, clean, efficient and reliable electricity to the UAE.
The second phase of the ITP can only be initiated once Nawah Energy Company (Nawah), the subsidiary of ENEC that will operate and maintain the Barakah Plant, has obtained the Operating License from the independent regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) to operate Unit 1. When FANR issues the Operating License, Nawah may begin loading nuclear fuel assemblies into the reactor, which takes several days.
The third phase of the ITP is the initial reactor startup and low-power physics testing.
The fourth phase of the ITP is Power Ascension Testing (PAT).
Once personnel successfully complete power ascension testing, operators will conduct a complete shutdown and restart of the reactor. Once the reactor returns to full power, it will operate for a number of days, and is then declared as ’substantially complete’.