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Abu Dhabi nuclear plant receives final condenser

A general view of the Arak heavy-water project, 190 km (120 miles) southwest of Tehran January 15, 2011. REUTERS/ISNA/Hamid  
Image used for illustrative purpose

A general view of the Arak heavy-water project, 190 km (120 miles) southwest of Tehran January 15, 2011. REUTERS/ISNA/Hamid Image used for illustrative purpose

REUTERS/Stringer Iran

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2017

Abu Dhabi: Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) has completed the installation of the condenser for Unit 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, being built in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi.

As one of the largest condensers in the Middle East region, the one installed at Unit 4 marks the final condenser installation at the Barakah plant.

The condenser plays an important role in the generation of electricity, and is a crucial component used in all types of energy plants. In a nuclear reactor, nuclear fission creates heat which turns water into steam. The pressure of the steam turns a turbine which then spins the generator, which produces electricity.

The condenser cools the steam back into water, allowing the process to be repeated continuously.

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The Barakah condensers are specifically modified according to the environmental conditions of the Arabian Gulf. The condenser includes a circulating water system, separate from the circuit in the reactor that heats the steam. The cooling system, removes heat from the electricity generation process, by taking in seawater and mixing it with cooling water to reduce the effects of discharging warm water to the Arabian Gulf.

As per the regulations set by the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), the temperature of discharged water must not be more than 5°C above the ambient temperature of the Gulf. The condenser’s 85,000 titanium and super stainless steel tubes will have a volume of 6,000 m3 of sea water per minute passing through them when Unit 1’s reactor is generating electricity.

Condensers help keep the generation process as efficient as possible by using a vacuum to remove anything other than pure steam, which ensures the productivity of the turbine, keeping it spinning as long as possible.

Manufactured in South Korea and transported to Barakah, the condenser is made up of three sections, each measuring 27 metres in length and weighing 700 metric tonnes, this is the equivalent of approximately two Airbus 380s. The three sections, were safely assembled in the open next to the turbine building of Unit 4, using a system of hydraulic jacks and complex winches and rollers.

“The successful installation of the condenser is a major milestone in the construction of Unit 4 at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant,” said Enec CEO Mohammad Al Hammadi. “With similar work being completed for Units 1, 2 and 3 in the beginning of 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, this clearly demonstrated the smooth sequencing of construction, building on the experience we have developed during the construction process, and proving the benefits of building four identical nuclear units simultaneously. The Barakah plant now has four of the region’s largest condensers safely and effectively installed to play their role in providing the UAE with the safe, clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy for its future growth.”

With the successful completion of this work, the Unit 4 turbine building can continue with construction works to be completed over the next few months. Unit 4 began construction in 2015 and is currently more than 38 per cent complete.

Overall, construction of Units 1 to 4 is around 76 per cent complete. All four units will deliver safe, clean, reliable and efficient nuclear energy to the UAE grid, pending regulatory reviews and licensing.

Staff Report

Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.

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