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Kepco to Provide Design, Construction and Maintenance of Nuclear Reactors

(Staff Report)
Filed on December 29, 2009

ABU DHABI - The world’s third largest nuclear energy business, Korea Electric Power Corporation, or Kepco, will provide the design, construction, operations and maintenance support services for the UAE Civil Nuclear Power Progamme.

Kepco will be involved in supplying the full scope of works and services for the nuclear reactor including engineering, procurement, construction, nuclear fuel and operations and maintenance support with the assistance of other Korean companies including Samsung C&T Corp , Hyundai Engineering and Construction and Doosan Heavy Industries.

With an installed nuclear generation capacity of 17,716 megawatts, the Korean company operates 20 commercial nuclear power units as of 2009, with eight more units currently under construction and an additional 10 units planned to be built by 2030, according to information released by Emirate Nuclear Energy Corporation, or ENEC.

Kepco Subsidiaries

The four Kepco subsidiaries will be take part in different works, as the Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Co, or KHNP, will play a key role as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and operator.

Another company Korea Power Engineering Co (Kopec) will provide the nuclear power plant design and engineering services.

Korea Nuclear Fuel Co, or KNF, will provide the nuclear fuel while Korea Plant Service and Engineering Co (KPS) will be involved in plant maintenance. Non-Korean companies involved in the Kepco team include Westinghouse of the US and Toshiba of Japan.

Kepco is expected to begin mobilising its team in Abu Dhabi immediately.

Technology

ENEC has decided to build Kepco’s APR1400, a Generation III, 1,400-megawatt nuclear power plant with revolutionary improvements in safety, performance, and environmental impact that meets the highest international standards for safety and performance.

Design was developed by the Korean nuclear industry under the leadership of Kepco over a period of 10 years beginning 1992.

The first of the APR1,400 units, Shin-Kori units 3 and 4, are now under construction, having obtained a construction permit from the Korean regulatory authority. Shin-Kori unit 3 will be connected to Korea’s grid by 2013.

The first UAE nuclear power plant will be the fifth unit of the APR1400 plants in the world, and Shin-Kori plants will serve as the “reference plants” for the UAE programme.

Kepco will construct plants that are essentially the same as the “reference plants,” but supplemented with changes required to adapt to UAE climactic conditions and any specific requirements of the UAE nuclear safety regulator, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR).

Enhanced Safety

As a Generation III reactor, the APR1400 has been designed to meet heightened safety goals developed in accordance with the latest international safety standards, which aim to secure an additional margin of safety to protect the public health.

The reactor’s safety system is designed to prevent or mitigate severe accidents by ensuring reactor shutdown, removing decay heat, maintaining the integrity of the containment facility, and preventing radioactive releases. It is designed to meet the procedural requirements and criteria of the US NRC regulations, including the post Three Mile Island accident requirements for new plants. In addition, the building and structures in the UAE plants will be designed to fulfill the latest requirements for earthquake safety and aircraft impact resistance. By deploying only a third-generation design, the UAE’s future fleet of nuclear reactors will boast safety levels significantly above those of existing nuclear fleets that are still dominated by second-generation designs. haseebhaider@khaleejtimes.com


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