ENEC Installs Containment Liner Plate For UAE’s First Nuclear Energy Plant


Construction of Barakah Unit 1 progressing on schedule; safety, quality and security remain paramount to UAE’s nuclear energy program

Construction of the UAE’s first nuclear energy reactor continues to progress, with the installation of the Containment Liner Plate (CLP) in the Reactor Containment Building for Barakah Unit 1 last week. The CLP is one of the many defense-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 modularized 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 proceeding, 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 set 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,” said ENEC’s Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Al Hammadi. “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,” added Mr. 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.”

Due to the magnitude of the Liner Plate, the component has to be constructed in multiple stages and parts. A total of 19 separate liner rings make up the structure, each measuring 45meters in diameter, and 3 meters 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 liner have been fabricated and welded together on site, and then crane-lifted and installed last week weighing almost 200 ton.

Over the next 10 months, the team will continue to fabricate and install the remaining 14 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 Terrex 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. Multiple load tests were also carried out on the crane.

Two simulations tested both the lift load of the crane, and the actual lift and swing of the structure following the same radius as the Liner would follow, from its original location to its installation in the containment building. In addition, wind speed conditions were carefully monitored throughout the entire process.