- National poll on nuclear energy in the UAE highlights some of the highest favorability rates for nuclear energy in the world
- The national poll conducted by the independent global market research company Nielsen shows the increase of awareness of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program by seven percent
Abu Dhabi, UAE – 15 July 2019: A new national poll on nuclear energy has shown that UAE residents are in favour of, and have a strong understanding of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. The poll revealed some of the highest favorability rates for nuclear energy in the world – higher than any other nuclear energy producing nations.
The poll was commissioned by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and conducted in 2018 by the independent global market research company Nielsen. The purpose of the survey was to support the development of effective educational initiatives about both the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program and ENEC, in order to provide the UAE community with accurate, meaningful and relevant information.
The poll has shown a slight increase in favorability towards the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, from 83 percent in 2017 to 85 percent in 2018. In addition, the poll revealed that 78 percent of UAE residents believe that the benefits of nuclear energy outweigh its risks. For the Al Dhafra region, the poll revealed a significant increase in favourability of the UAE program, from 84 percent in 2017 to 94 percent in 2018. In addition, 93 percent of Al Dhafra residents consider nuclear energy to be a safe, clean, reliable and efficient way for electricity production, up from 82 percent in 2017.
“The results of this public opinion poll demonstrate ENEC's adherence to its mission of being transparent to the UAE public, providing them with the most recent news and engaging with them in regards to the development of the peaceful nuclear energy industry,” said H.E. Eng. Mohamed Al Hammadi, Chief Executive Officer of ENEC. “We are delighted to see the trust our communities place in ENEC, reflected in the UAE public's responses. These results validate our efforts of raising public awareness of the UAE program.”
Residents' perceptions of nuclear energy have also evolved, with positive understanding towards the sustainability of nuclear energy improving significantly. Eighty percent of residents believe that nuclear energy can generate electricity in a safe, clean, reliable, and efficient way, and 87 percent think that the use of nuclear energy to generate electricity will support the UAE's transition to low-carbon energy resources.
Ninety-one percent of UAE residents reported that they trust ENEC, and 98 percent of residents believe that ENEC always puts safety first. In addition, 96 percent think that ENEC is ensuring that the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is being built according to the highest standards of quality and safety, and 86 percent think that ENEC is transparent in their operations and communications.
“The results of this poll are inspiring, as we continue to grow and develop the peaceful nuclear energy industry in the UAE. We are dedicated to supporting communities throughout the nation, and it is reassuring to know that the vast majority of UAE residents believe in the safety and security of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program and trust ENEC to deliver the Barakah plant in accordance to the highest international standards,” concluded H.E. Eng. Al Hammadi.
As part of the public opinion survey, over one thousand people were interviewed across the UAE, including male and female UAE Nationals and expatriate residents. Key findings include:
• 65% of residents demonstrated awareness of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, as compared to 58% in 2017.
• 78% of residents believe that the benefits of nuclear energy outweigh its risks, as compared to 77% in 2017.
• 85% of the UAE residents are in favour of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program. As compared to 83% in 2017.
• 94% of Al Dhafra residents are in favour of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, as compared to 84% in 2017.
• 93% of Al Dhafra residents consider nuclear energy is a safe, clean reliable and efficient way for electricity production, up from 82% in 2017.
• 96% of residents believe that ENEC is ensuring that the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is being built to the highest standards of quality and safety, which is the same percentage in 2017.
The UAE's approach to the development of a peaceful nuclear energy program continues to receive strong support from the international community, as a benchmark for countries interested in exploring nuclear energy for the first time. Since its inception in 2009, ENEC continuously seeks to implement the highest international standards of quality, safety, security and operational transparency.
Construction of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is progressing steadily. As of the end of March 2019, the overall construction of the four units is more than 93%. Unit 4 is more than 82% complete, Unit 3 is more than 91%, Unit 2 is more than 95%.
Unit 1 construction is complete and is currently undergoing commissioning and testing, prior to regulatory review and receipt of the Operating License (OL) from the FANR. Recently FANR has officially certified he first group of 15 UAE National Senior Reactor Operators (SROs) and Reactor Operators (ROs) at Nawah Energy Company, the operations and maintenance subsidiary of ENEC. The certification of SROs and ROs is a key requirement to receive the OL.
The four Units of Barakah plant will deliver clean, efficient and reliable electricity to the UAE grid, and will prevent up to 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year, equivalent to removing 3.2 million sedan cars from the roads.