5 May (NucNet): Commercial operation of the Barakah-1 nuclear power unit in the United Arab Emirates has been put back from 2017 to 2018, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said on 5 May 2017.
Enec said the delay was to ensure sufficient time for international assessments and adherence to nuclear industry safety standards, and “as a reinforcement of operational proficiency for plant personnel”.
Enec said the delay follows a series of assessments and lessons learned from Shin-Kori-3 in South Korea, the reference plant for Barakah.
Initial construction activities for Unit 1 have been completed and the facility turned over to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP) for testing and commissioning in preparation for commercial operation, Enec said. KHNP is a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco).
Enec signed the prime contract with Kepco in 2009 for the construction of four APR-1400 units at the Barakah station.
Following completion of commissioning activities by KHNP, Nawah Energy Company, a joint venture between Enec and Kepco established to operate Barakah, will assume operational responsibilities for Unit 1.
Enec said fuel loading and operation will require the approval of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) and an operating licence.
FANR is reviewing the operating licence application, which was submitted by Enec in March 2015.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (Wano) will carry out a series of voluntary, but independent assessments of the robustness of the operating infrastructure and the proficiency of the operations personnel, Enec said.
Construction of Barakah-1 began in 2012. The project as a whole is now 79% complete with Unit 1 95% complete.