Barakah 3 sets pipe welding quality benchmark

23 March 2017

Construction work at Barakah 3 in the United Arab Emirates has passed two milestones with the completion of reactor coolant loop (RCL) pipe welding and the reactor containment building dome (RCB) structure. The coolant loop work has set a new industry benchmark for quality in pipe welding.

Enec and partners celebrate completion of Barakah 3's dome (Image: Enec)

The dome is the final structural component of the RCB and its completion also marks the completion of major construction activities for the building. Next steps will include testing the building's structural integrity, including its ability to withstand high internal pressures.

The RCL transfers heat from the reactor vessel's coolant circuit to the steam generators, where the steam that spins the plant's generator turbine is produced in a separate circuit. The work entailed a large number of heavy wall piping welds, using a narrow groove, automatic welding technique. Verification tests of the completed welds demonstrated their high quality. This has now established a new industry quality benchmark for similar operations, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) said.

"The extremely low - benchmark setting - weld repair rates achieved during the welding of RCL pipes and the successful completion of the RCB dome structure on unit 3 are a result of the rigorous application of lessons learned during the construction of units 1 and 2, highlighting the benefits of building four identical units at the same time," Ahmed Al Rumaithi, ENEC deputy CEO, said.

Construction started at Barakah 3, one of four Korean-designed APR1400 pressurised water reactors under construction at the site in western Abu Dhabi, in 2014. The unit is now 69% complete. The Barakah plant is being built for Enec by a consortium led by the Korean Electric Power Company (Kepco), and the four units are now around 78% complete. The first unit is expected to start up this year.

ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi, said the milestones were a result of collaboration between the company, its prime contractor and joint venture partner Kepco and sub-contractors, such as the Hyundai-Samsung Joint Venture and Sam Jin. "Working together and benefitting from the experience gained when conducting the same operation of the first two units at Barakah, the teams continue to implement the highest international standards of safety, security and quality," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News