Cold hydrostatic testing (CHT) has been successfully completed at Unit 2 of Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, it has been revealed.

CHT is carried out to ensure that welds, joints, pipes, and components of the reactor coolant system and associated high-pressure systems comply with the standards of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

In a statement, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) noted that Unit 2 completed CHT approximately 12 months after Unit 1 passed the same test.

The company added that before CHT was conducted, the unit’s nuclear steam supply systems (NSSS) had to be flushed with demineralised water. This was then followed by the installation of the reactor pressure vessel head and reactor coolant pump seals.

Once the seals were in place, CHT commenced, with the reactor coolant pumps circulating processed water that filled the primary circuit.

The pumps are necessary to maintain the required operating temperature inside the reactor, said ENEC.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive officer of ENEC, commented: “As the delivery of the four nuclear units progresses, we ensure that all the organisations working on the Barakah plant […] continuously look to improve the delivery of our programme through our acquired knowledge from preceding tests, units, and works, making our project more quality- and safety-driven, as well as more efficient.

“For Unit 2, the completion of CHT means that the unit is closer to achieving its goal of enhancing the UAE’s energy security and its environmental sustainability by supplying it with electricity produced with near-zero CO2 emissions.”

Detailed system inspections to verify if all components and piping systems functioned as designed were reportedly performed by teams from Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), the project’s prime contractor and ENEC’s joint venture partner; Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP); and FANR.

Performing the inspections with them were commissioning oversight and quality surveillance personnel from ENEC and Nawah Energy Company, which was established to operate and maintain the Barakah plant.

According to ENEC, Unit 2 is now more than 85% complete while the whole power plant project is more than 82% complete.

Barakah is currently the biggest nuclear construction project in the world. It is located in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.

Click here to watch a video showing how work on the project has progressed since construction of Unit 1 began in 2012.