UAE’s First Nuclear Energy Plant to ensure Safety, Quality and Security

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UAE Nuclear Enery Plant - Barakah 1
Construction in progress at the UAE Nuclear Enery Plant – Barakah 1. Photo-ENEC

ENEC installs containment liner plate for UAE’s first nuclear energy plant

Construction of the UAE’s first nuclear energy reactor continues, with the installation last week of the Containment Liner Plate (CLP) in the Barakah Unit 1 Reactor Containment Building. The CLP is one of the many defence-in-depth barriers that ensure the safety of nuclear energy plants.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) installed the first modularised sections of the 2000-ton steel cylinder. The installation was the culmination of months of work and is just one element of the complex construction program underway at Barakah.

With the CLP installation ENEC and KEPCO remain on-track to deliver the country’s first nuclear energy reactor, Barakah Unit 1, in 2017. A total of four nuclear energy reactors are to be constructed by 2020, producing a significant portion of the UAE’s energy needs and saving up to 12 million tons in carbon emissions every year.

“As we continue to make steady progress on construction, we remain firmly committed to maintaining the highest standards of safety, security and quality in everything we do. This installation was a challenging and complicated operation. Its successful completion is a testament to the strong safety culture we have fostered here at Barakah.” — ENEC Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Al Hammadi

The Containment Liner Plate is a cylindrical steel shell that forms the inner wall, ceiling, and floor of the Reactor Containment Building (RCB).

“The Liner Plate plays a fundamental role in ensuring the safety of the containment structure, which is where the nuclear reactor is housed. It is one of many physical barriers that ensure the safety of our employees, the community and the environment and make Generation III+ nuclear energy plants incredibly robust structures.” — ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi

Due to the magnitude of the Liner Plate, the component must be constructed in multiple stages. A total of nineteen separate liner rings make up the structure, each measuring 45-metres in diameter, and 3-metres in height. The floor and the first two levels of the Liner Plate were made off-site and have been installed over the past two months in-situ. The next three levels of the almost 200-ton liner were fabricated and welded together on-site, then crane-lifted and installed last week. Over the next ten months the team will continue to fabricate and install the remaining fourteen sections of the CLP.

A special Very Heavy Lift (VHL) crane with a total lifting capacity of 1,600-tons, was shipped to the UAE to carry out the installation process. The Terex Crawler Crane took just under two hours to lift and swing the Liner Plate safely into position.

Prior to the installation the site team carried out a series of ground condition tests to ensure the safest possible conditions for the lift, including multiple load tests on the crane and simulation tests.

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