The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has received a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the environmental regulator, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), for the construction of Barakah Nuclear Power Plant Units 1 & 2.

In issuing the NOC, EAD acknowledges the environmental aspects of the construction of the UAE’s first two reactors, based on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), which were submitted by ENEC in 2010.

The receipt of the NOC is the next important step in a thorough, multi-year licensing process for the reactors. In order to proceed with the construction of Units 1 & 2, ENEC also requires a Construction License from the UAE Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation (FANR). ENEC submitted its Construction License Application (CLA) for Barakah Units 1 and 2 to 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 & 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 Mohamed 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 programs 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 emit almost zero carbon emissions during operations. With four nuclear energy plants delivering electricity to the grid by 2020, we will be delivering 5,600 MW of low carbon electricity to the national grid.”

A South Korean consortium is planning to build APR-1400 reactors on the preferred site of Barakah, which is located in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, which is said to be a distane from the UAE’s marine protected areas.