Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has signed a preliminary agreement to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation on research and development (R&D) in the nuclear energy sector.
The agreement will help advance progress in the UAE’s nuclear industry and support innovation, clean electricity production and methods of mitigating climate change.
The MoU will elevate the strategic partnership between the two entities through sharing global expertise and the latest advancements in the nuclear energy sector, as well as exploring the production of green hydrogen-powered by carbon-free nuclear energy.
The two parties signed the agreement at the annual E-FUSION (Emirati French Industrial Supply Chain Initiative for Nuclear), a two-day event through a partnership between ENEC and Business France, which is an Emirati-French initiative to create a local supply chain for the nuclear sector.
EDF (Electricite de France) is a French multinational electric utility company, largely owned by the French state. As the leading nuclear operator of the largest nuclear fleet worldwide, EDF is supporting the global energy transition movement by exporting its expertise in low-carbon energies, like nuclear energy, renewable energies, and energy services.
Since November 2018, EDF has provided ENEC’s operations and maintenance joint venture subsidiary Nawah Energy Company with a range of services. These include operational safety, radiation protection, fuel-cycle management and environmental monitoring. Expertise is provided through engineering studies, on-site support, training and benchmarking sessions.
EDF’s renewables arm is part of a consortium, alongside China’s Jinko Power and UAE entities Masdar and Taqa, that is developing the world’s largest solar photovoltaic project, a 2-gigawatt plant in Abu Dhabi’s Al Dhafra region.
ENEC’s Barakah Plant is one of the largest nuclear energy plants in the world, with four APR-1400 units. Construction of the Plant began in 2012 and has progressed steadily ever since. Unit 1 started the commercial operations in April 2021. Unit 2 has now completed the fuel load process and is working through all the required processes before start up.
Construction of Units 3 and 4 are in the final stages, with the Units 94 percent and 89 percent complete. Thus, the construction of the Barakah Plant as a whole is now more than 95 percent complete.