Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has completed testing of the Unit 1 at the planned 5600MW Barakah nuclear energy plant being developed approximately 53km west-southwest of the city of Ruwais.

Over several weeks period, the firm has completed the structural integrity test (SIT) and integrated leak rate test (ILRT) on the Unit 1 at the $32bn Barakah project.

The SIT is aimed at assessing the strength of the reactor containment building (RCB), the structure at the heart of the plant, which houses the reactor and major components while the ILRT aims to validate the leak tightness of the containment building under a variety of conditions.

During the testing, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) provided full oversight and confirmed the highest international standards of safety and quality of the unit.

The tests also validated the unit’s integrity and robustness in terms of force and leak tightness. It also demonstrated its ability to safely operate under normal and extraordinary circumstances.

ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi said: "We are proud to have maintained our track record of safety and quality with the completion of the Structural Integrity Test and Integrated Leak Rate Test.

"The commissioning phase of a nuclear energy plant is a critical step towards the first fuel load. Before loading the fuel it is essential that the plant is tested under the highest standards of safety, security and quality."

Scheduled to be commissioned in 2017, the Unit 1 also completed reactor systems flushing, turbine lube oil flushing, and cold hydrostatic testing (CHT), validating its reactor coolant system and other associated systems compliance with FANR’s regulations.

Al Hammadi said that the completion of these tests on Unit 1 marks a step ahead in commissioning of the project, which is expected to meet up to a quarter of nation’s electricity needs.

The Barakah project Unit 2 is 72% complete, Unit 3 is 50% complete and Unit 4 is 31% complete.