KEPCO undergoes repairs for cracks in nuclear reactor containment buildings in UAE. The Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) is carrying out repair work after the discovery of cracks in the containment buildings of the No. 1 to 4 reactors of Barakah Nuclear Power Plant it is currently building in the United Arab Emirates. The news comes amid growing fears over the safety of nuclear power after cracks were found to be present in the walls of the reactor containment buildings used to prevent the release of radiation at several nuclear power plants in South Korea. According to the Hankyoreh’s investigation, cracks were first discovered at Barakah in Aug. 2017. The first was found in the containment building for the No. 3 reactor, which was under construction at the time. A subsequent examination was conducted on the buildings for the No. 1, 2, and 4 reactors, resulting in the discovery of cracks in all of them. Repair work has been underway since then. Cracks in concrete walls typically occur because of improper concrete casting. The pouring of the concrete must be done with great care, as the concrete used for the buildings is only 1.2 meters thick and has rebar that is situated vertically and horizontally within it. Cracks may arise if the concrete solidifies without being carefully filled in. The discovery of cracks in the UAE containment buildings could spur calls for compensation for the construction delay. Nuclear fuel was loaded into the Barakah 1 reactor in late 2016, with construction scheduled for completion in Apr. 2017. As the construction period dragged out, the completion date was adjusted to late 2018 through an agreement last year between the KEPCO consortium and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC). With repair efforts still under way on the cracks, ENEC could demand compensation for the delay if construction is not completed by the end of the year. The compensation amount for delays is set at US$600,000 per day according to KEPCO and ENEC’s contract.
Hankyoreh 17th Oct 2018 read more »