ENEC, EDF announce nuclear R&D cooperation plans

30 June 2021

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and EDF have announced their plans to cooperate on nuclear energy R&D under a new Memorandum of Understanding, which includes exploring the production of 'green hydrogen' powered by nuclear energy.

Laurent Clement and Ahmed Al Mazrouei sign the agreement in the presence of Hervé Maillart, head coordinator of the French Nuclear Industry at EDF, and ENEC CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi (Image: ENEC)

Ahmed Al Mazrouei, ENEC vice president of R&D, and Laurent Clement, CEO of EDF Middle East, signed a Letter of Intent to develop the MoU at the two-day UAE-France E-FUSION nuclear cooperation event in Dubai.

The collaboration is part of ENEC’s commitment to progressing the UAE’s nuclear energy industry, supporting innovation, clean electricity production and tackling climate change, the Emirati company said. "The planned 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," it added.

EDF has since 2018 provided ENEC's operations and maintenance joint venture subsidiary Nawah Energy Company with a range of services, including operational safety, radiation protection, fuel cycle management and environmental monitoring, ENEC said.

The first of four Korean-designed APR-1400 pressurised water reactor units at ENEC's Barakah nuclear power plant started commercial operations in 2021. Fuel loading has been completed at unit 2, which is preparing for start-up, while units 3 and 4 are in the final stages of construction and are, respectively, 94% and 89% complete.

The annual E-FUSION (Emirati French Industrial Supply Chain Initiative for Nuclear) event was launched by ENEC, EDF and GIFEN (French Nuclear Cluster) in 2019, aiming to develop new Franco-Emirati commercial relations in the nuclear sector.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News