The Barakah nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, South Korea's first-ever export nuclear power plant, is suffering from frequent breakdowns, the etoday reported on April 22.
According to the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co., a total of 10 defects have been found at the Barakah nuclear power plant, including seven cases for the Unit 1 and three cases for Unit 2.
Most of them were related to the components and facilities of the cooling system and the instrumentation system. The Barakah nuclear power plant is South Korea's first export nuclear power plant, which began construction in 2012 and the Unit. 1 was completed last year. This means that there are a series of damage and breakdowns of parts within a year of completion.
Among the equipment that has been confirmed to have failed is major facilities for safe nuclear power plant operations.
Essential Service Water Intake Structure (ESWIS) is a key facility that supplies cooling water needed to cool down the reactor.
Some of ESWIS' equipment stopped abnormally when it was recently resetting Engineered Safety Features - Component Control System (ESF-CCS) equipment at the Unit 1. Damage to the ESWIS is one of the main causes of Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.
"We can't tell you anything about the Barakah nuclear power plant without consulting with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC)," said the Korea Electric Power Corp., the main contractor for the Barakah nuclear power plant contract.
Nuclear industry sources are concerned that the operation of the Barakah nuclear power plant could be delayed further if the defects at the plant are not resolved at an early date. Park Jong-un, a professor of nuclear engineering at Dongguk University, said, "If these defects continue, it is natural that additional exports of nuclear power plants will be difficult," adding, "The exact performance of the plant needs to be verified."