Abu Dhabi is closely watching the nuclear crisis in Japan, but is unlikely to order any major changes to its ambitious nuclear plans, say the heads of the programme.
The emirate's first nuclear reactors will be perched on a platform 6 metres above sea level - higher than a tsunami wave, engineers believe, if one were to make it to the emirate's shores.
The engineers behind Abu Dhabi's nuclear programme, a US$20 billion (Dh73.45bn) plan scheduled to start producing nuclear energy within seven years, have taken into account scenarios ranging from earthquakes to plane crashes.
"There will probably be more investigating into the systems and re-evaluation of some of the procedures to shut down the plants and what backup systems can be relied on," said Hamad al Kaabi, the UAE's permanent representative to the global nuclear watchdog the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"The proposed site in the UAE is very low in terms of seismic activity and in terms of potential to be hit by tsunami waves."
The expected potential of nuclear energy is enormous - most of all the ability to meet growing grid demand for power with what is seen as a clean energy source.
But first Abu Dhabi must educate the public about the safety of its plans, including the location of the site - 300km west of the capital - and the way it will dispose of spent fuel, which was a source of radiation contamination after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The emirate has sought to do that through a series of outside reviews by an independent UAE regulator, an international watchdog and an appointed board of industry veterans. The Government has pursued co-operation agreements with nations experienced in nuclear power generation, giving engineers hands-on experience.
Furthermore Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), the Government-owned company charged with building and operating the plants, has hosted town hall-style meetings near the proposed site in the Western Region and in Abu Dhabi, at one point distributing plastic pellets shaped like the uranium pellets used in the plant to try to familiarise concerned residents with nuclear technology.
Now, just after breaking ground on the nuclear plant site, Abu Dhabi is studying new considerations sparked by events in Japan - a critical task as governments around the world announce reviews or even moratoriums on nuclear energy.
"We're certainly trying to learn," said William Travers, the director general of the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, the UAE's independent watchdog. "We would make our programme even safer from any knowledge we gain from any events in Japan." A range of safeguards are already in place. The APR-1400, the Korean-designed reactor Enec has chosen, will have been in use for four years by the time the UAE brings its first two reactors online in 2017.
Two more are scheduled to begin operations in Baraka by 2020, allowing Abu Dhabi to source up to a quarter of its electricity from nuclear energy.
Events such as a grid disruption or a plane crash would set off a series of automated safety mechanisms, including starting diesel generators to supply backup electricity to keep the reactor running and water to flood the container around the reactor to cool it and force it to eventually shut down.
The practice of flooding the reactor vessel, common in US and Korean models, is a different approach to that taken in Europe.
France, in particular, requires its reactors to include a plate called a core catcher that would contain radioactive material in the event of a meltdown.
"The current design of the Korean reactor does not have a core catcher but this does not mean that it's not a safe reactor," Mr al Kaabi said. "The technology can withstand all severe scenarios, so that there is no release of radiation into the public and at the same time that it can be shut down safely."