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Mon November 30 2020

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Milestone reached in UAE’s first nuclear plant

26 Mar 13 Construction of the UAE’s first nuclear energy reactor reached a key stage last week with the installation of the containment liner plate (CLP) in the reactor containment building.

A Terex crawler crane with a total lifting capacity of 1,600t, was shipped to the UAE to carry out the installation process and took just under two hours to lift and swing the 200t liner plate into position.

The CLP is one of the many defense-in-depth barriers to ensure the safety of the Barakah Unit 1.

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) installed the first modularised sections of the 2,000t steel cylinder in an operation. The installation was the culmination of months of work, and is just one element of the complex construction program under way at Barakah.

ENEC and KEPCO remain on track to deliver 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.

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“The liner plate plays a fundamental role in ensuring the safety of the containment structure, which is where the nuclear reactor is housed,” said ENEC chief executive officer Mohamed Al Hammadi. “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.”

The liner plate has to be constructed in multiple stages and parts. A total of 19 separate liner rings make up the structure, each measuring 45m in diameter, and 3m 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 installed in last week’s operation. Over the next 10 months, the team will continue to fabricate and install the remaining 14 sections of the CLP.

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.

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