ENEC said it has received a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from EAD for the construction of the country’s first two reactors, which is the next important step in a thorough, multi-year licensing process for the reactors.

The company still requires a construction license from UAE’s Federal Authority of Nuclear Regulation (FANR) to proceed with the construction work.

The license application submitted back in 27 December 2010 includes, among other issues, site selection, technology, safety and quality control, and the construction process for Units 1 & 2.

ENEC chief executive officer Mohamed Al Hammadi said 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," added Al Hammadi.

"This will lead to a saving of about 12 million tonnes of carbon emissions in the UAE each year."

ENEC’s preferred site for the new reactors is Barakah, which is located in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, away from the UAE’s marine protected areas.