Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, the UAE’s Minister of International Cooperation and Development, visited the Barakah plants and witnessed the latest progress made on the UAE’s nuclear energy programme along with ENEC Chief Executive Officer Mohamed Al Hammadi, senior officials and engineers. She also joined the employee’s celebration of this major milestone.
The Condenser plays an important role in the generation of electricity, and is a critical component used in all types of power plants. In a nuclear reactor, nuclear fission creates heat, which turns water into steam. The pressure of the steam turns a generator, which produces electricity. The Condenser cools the steam back into water, allowing the process to repeat continuously.
The condenser is made up of three sections connected by equalising ducts, with each section measuring 26m in length and weighing 700,000kg. The condenser sections were fabricated in South Korea and shipped to Barakah. The condenser welding was completed in the Unit 1 Reactor Containment Building; a process which took more than 7 months to complete.
“We are pleased to be progressing safely and on schedule as we work to deliver the UAE’s first nuclear energy plant,” said Al Hammadi.
“The team will now focus on completing the fit out of the condenser, including the installation of the duct sections, water boxes low pressure feedwater heaters and auxiliary systems. The entire process is expected to take over another year before the condenser is complete.” ENEC recently announced the achievement of another milestone for Barakah Unit 1, the completion of the fabrication and installation of the Containment Liner Plate (CLP) in the Reactor Containment Building.
Commercial operations for Unit 1 are scheduled to start in 2017, subject to regulatory approvals. Construction for Barakah Unit 2 is also well under way. The plant will commence commercial operation in 2018, pending regulatory approval. ENEC will apply for an Operating License for Units 1 and 2 in 2015.
ENEC is also on track to break ground for its third nuclear energy plant later this year, subject to regulatory approvals. By 2020, the UAE will have four nuclear plants in commercial operations, delivering up to a quarter of the nation’s electricity needs. Nuclear energy will also save the UAE up to 12 million tons in greenhouse gas emissions every year.