The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) said on 30 June that it had signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with EDF ahead of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will cover cooperation on research and development (R&D) in the nuclear energy sector.
The collaboration is part of ENEC’s commitment towards progressing the UAE’s nuclear energy industry, supporting innovation, clean electricity production and tackling climate change. The planned MOU will elevate the strategic partnership between the parties through sharing global expertise and the latest advancements in the nuclear energy sector, as well as exploring the production of green hydrogen powered by nuclear energy.
Since November 2018 EDF has provided ENEC’s operations and maintenance JV subsidiary Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) 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.
The LOI was signed during 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. E-FUSION, launched by ENEC, EDF and GIFEN (French Nuclear Cluster) in 2019, aims to develop new Franco-Emirati commercial relations in the nuclear sector.
Construction of ENEC’s Barakah Plant, with four APR-1400 units, began in 2012 and has progressed steadily. 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% and 89% complete. Overall, the Barakah Plant is now more than 95% complete.