Volunteers Clean-up the Coast for World Environment and Oceans Days

Volunteers Clean-up the Coast for World Environment and Oceans Days

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) celebrated the occasion of World Environment Day, June 5, and World Oceans Day, June 8, this week, with its third annual Barakah Beach Clean-up event held on the coastline neighboring ENEC’s Barakah plant in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi, which collected more than half a ton of waste.

More than 70 volunteers from ENEC’s Environment Protection and Sustainability team, as well as from the Environment team of the Korean Electric Power Company (KEPCO), demonstrated their dedication to environmental protection by collecting dozens of bags of waste washed ashore surrounding Barakah, helping to keep the coastline clean.

The event is part of ENEC’s on-going commitment to environmental sustainability, in line with the organisation’s Barakah Environment and Sustainability Charter – an agreement co-signed by ENEC and its Prime Contractor, KEPCO, which sets out a series of obligations for both parties to ensure they operate in an environmentally-conscious manner throughout all stages of construction and operations.

“Sustainability and environment are at the heart of what we do at ENEC, and the Barakah Beach Clean-up is just one of a number of proactive environmental initiatives being implemented by ENEC to do our part for the environment and ensure the long-term sustainability of the natural areas surrounding the Barakah site,” commented Hussain Abdulla Madhi, Corporate Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability Director at ENEC.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, ENEC’s Chief Executive Officer added “I am proud to see so many ENEC volunteers actively taking part to bring the organization’s commitment to environmental protection to life.”

ENEC has rolled out a number of sustainability initiatives in recent months, including an Osprey Nesting Project, where the Environment Protection and Sustainability Team oversaw the construction of four purpose built nesting platforms for the large raptor birds, following a number of sightings around Barakah. Made from recycled wood, the nesting platforms were assembled in a secluded area of the Barakah site, close to the shoreline – the preferred habitat of the Osprey species.

In January this year, ENEC also announced the completion of the final stages of an artificially constructed reef, located 3.8km from the shoreline of Barakah, designed to stimulate the local ecosystem by improving the existing seabed habitat. Today, the reef is flourishing with a variety of marine species including algae, invertebrates such as barnacles, corals, and oysters, and a variety of small and large fish.

ENEC’s Barakah “Go Green” campaign has also seen the landscape of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant transformed over the past two years with the cultivation and planting of more than 1600 trees at site. To support the ongoing campaign, a plant nursery has been constructed on site at Barakah which utilizes recycled treated water from the plant’s sewage treatment facilities. The nursery cultivates a variety of native plants and trees, which are incorporated into the landscaping around site once they reach maturity.

ENEC is committed to operating in a manner respectful of its local and marine environment, and works under the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) to comply with their environmental regulations and regularly monitor any impact surrounding its site, in order to ensure effective mitigation programs are developed and implemented.

By 2020, ENEC’s four nuclear energy reactors will provide approximately 25% of the UAE’s electricity needs, saving up to 12 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Unit 1 is already more than 70% complete and due to connect to the grid in 2017, with one additional unit coming online each year up to 2020.