Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) says it has completed tests on a second unit at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant.

The nuclear firm, which is developing the 5,600MW  Barakah nuclear project in Abu Dhabi’s Al-Dhafra region, said it had successfully completed cold hydrostatic testing (CHT) at Unit 2 of the nuclear plant.

The same tests were administered on Unit 1 about one year ago.

The tests are a critical step to prepare the units for nuclear operation and to ensure the unit’s welds, joints, pipes and components of coolant systems complied with Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation requirements.

“For Unit 2, the completion of CHT means that the second unit is closer to achieving its goal of enhancing energy security for the UAE, as well as its environmental sustainability by supplying the UAE with electricity produced with near-zero CO2 emissions,” said Enec chief executive Mohamed al-Hammadi.

The first of four reactors of the nuclear power plant is due to come online in 2018, pending approval of the required final operating licence.

In February, Enec said it had completed the installation of the condenser for unit 4 on its 5.6GW nuclear power project in Abu Dhabi. The condenser is used in a nuclear power plant to cool the steam, produced to turn the turbines, back into water.