Setting a New Benchmark in Commissioning and New Nuclear Operations


Progress continues to take place at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant to bring Unit 1 into operation in alignment with the highest national and international standards of quality and safety. This includes ensuring that both the plant infrastructure, as well as the personnel responsible for operating it, achieve those standards which are based on decades of global operating experience.

After concluding construction completion in March 2018, Unit 1 is now in a phase called "project commissioning", which is the process of assuring that all systems and components of an industrial or power plant are designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained to the operational requirements of the owner and the regulator.

All industrial plants must comply with this process and, in nuclear, the quality and safety standards are considered the most demanding standards in the global industry. Therefore, it is common and expected that major construction projects, including nuclear energy plants, to undergo complex and exhaustive technical reviews.

As a pioneering project, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) works closely with its Joint Venture Partner the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) to ensure all technical equipment related to the construction and operational readiness of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the first nuclear energy plant in the Arab World, meets national regulatory standards and international best practice.

Each unit of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant comprises tens of thousands of individual components that are checked out and tested. These components are combined into systems, with 272 systems tested as part of the commissioning process and 141 systems that are tested during operational readiness activities.

As noted by the UAE's International Advisory Board in its final report, ENEC is working with KEPCO and its operational subsidiary Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) to utilize the lessons learned at Shin Kori 3, the Korean reference plant for Barakah to ensure that all non-performing systems are corrected to meet the standards and expectations of the owner, operator, and the regulator including the pilot-operated safety and relief valves (POSRV).

By establishing high standards for commissioning, ENEC and Nawah ensure the long-term  reliability of the APR-1400 technology, as well as efficiencies and best practices for the remaining three units, ensuring the long-term value and resilience of the UAE's investment in nuclear energy.