The environment regulator in Abu Dhabi has cleared plans for the construction of Barakah Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 and 2.
The Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD) has granted a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) on the environmental aspects of the construction of the UAE’s first two reactors. This is based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which were submitted by Enec in 2010.
The next important step is a thorough, multi-year licensing process for the reactors. In order to proceed with the construction of Units 1 and 2, the Enec also requires a Construction Licence from the UAE Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation (FANR). The Enec submitted its Construction Licence Application (CLA) for Barakah Units 1 and 2 to the FANR on December 27, 2010. The CLA includes, among other issues, site selection, technology, safety and quality control and the construction process for Units 1 and 2.
“We are committed to operating in a manner that is respectful of the environment throughout the construction and operation of the nuclear energy plants,” said Mohammed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of Enec.
“We understand that we must be responsible custodians of our site and the local environment, and we will actively and regularly monitor any impact, in conjunction with the EAD, to ensure the long-term sustainability of Abu Dhabi’s environment. We will also be pursuing proactive programmes that support the environmental ambitions of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.”
“Nuclear energy is one of the ways in which Abu Dhabi is demonstrating its commitment to the environment, as nuclear energy plants have almost zero carbon emissions during operations. With four nuclear energy plants delivering electricity to the grid by 2020, we will be delivering 5,600MW of low-carbon electricity to the national grid. This will lead to a saving of about 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions in the UAE each year,” added Al Hammadi.
Enec’s preferred site, Barakah, which is located in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, was selected based on a variety critical factors including the environmental conditions at the site. The site is also located away from the UAE’s marine protected areas.