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ENEC and UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero sign MoU at COP28 to further cooperation in nuclear energy

By Energy Connects

Dec 11, 2023

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Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ). The MoU between ENEC and the UK DESNZ was signed at the Net Zero Nuclear Summit on the sidelines of COP 28 in Dubai, UAE, by His Excellency Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, and Andrew Bowie, the UK Minister for Nuclear and Networks, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, UK.

Both the UAE and UK, who recently endorsed the 22-nation declaration to triple nuclear energy capacity globally by 2050, have made long-term investments in nuclear energy and are committed to increasing their contribution for driving domestic energy security and achieving sustainability goals. The agreement will enable both parties to explore potential collaboration opportunities in the deployment of large-scale nuclear reactors, in addition to Advanced Nuclear Technologies (including Small Modular Reactors), as well as a host of related fields, from nuclear security to the supply of nuclear fuel. ENEC and UK DESNZ will share lessons learned in project delivery of large-scale reactors, as well as efficiency improvements, best practices in government and commercial project financing, and site and technology selection.

His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, ENEC’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer commented: “The UK has been a long-term partner for the UAE within the nuclear energy sector and we share similar objectives in guaranteeing long-term energy security and greater sustainability. With the Barakah plant close to full fleet operations, we are actively pursuing further international collaboration opportunities to implement nuclear energy technology globally to accelerate pathways for generating clean electrons and molecules to accelerate the energy transition. The Net Zero Nuclear summit is the perfect platform to sign and agree on new areas of cooperation with trusted partners as we collectively work towards faster climate action. In the UAE, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant has had a transformational impact on our energy landscape, providing abundant clean electricity 24/7 as well as being a catalyst to innovation and R&D in clean molecules and development of the advanced nuclear energy technology to support industrial decarbonisation and our collective net-zero ambitions. Now, working with the UK, we look forward to identifying ways to further expand on the proven benefits of civil nuclear energy.”

Andrew Bowie MP, Minister for Nuclear and Networks, Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, UK, said: “The UK and UAE are leading the way in civil nuclear energy as part of plans to move towards a cleaner energy mix and deliver net zero. While the UK was home to the world’s first commercial nuclear reactor, the UAE is one of the newest countries to embrace nuclear energy. This partnership will allow our two nations to work closer together and pursue an international renaissance of nuclear energy, as underlined by the global pledge endorsed at COP28 to triple nuclear capacity by 2050.”

ENEC and DESNZ will explore potential partnership opportunities in the development, certification, pilot project launch and commercial deployment of UK-based Advanced Nuclear Technologies, including SMRs. They will also work together to explore opportunities to accelerate the development of technologies and applications of nuclear hydrogen generation across the UAE and UK fleets and on non-electric applications of nuclear including thermal energy storage, production of net-zero liquid fuels such as ammonia, methanol and hydrocarbons, and process heat for industrial use. Other non-electric applications to be considered include direct air capture of CO2, district heating, desalination and agriculture.

Both the UAE and UK recognise that achieving net zero is a global effort that will require advanced nations to support developing nations in having access to secure, reliable, cost effective and clean sources of electricity – all key components of the Sustainable Development Goals. The MoU will facilitate exploration of ways that both ENEC and DESNZ can support developing countries with their own new peaceful nuclear programs safely and securely, in line with the IAEA’s international counter-proliferation framework and through direct support to the IAEA's capabilities and mandate.

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