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UAE and China seek tie-up to develop nuclear energy

UAE and Chinese officials met to discuss future plans for nuclear energy collaboration

The UAE state-owned Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has signed three memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Chinese nuclear energy organisations.

The MoUs were signed with Nuclear Power Operations Research Institute, China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas and China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation, the UAE state-run WAM news agency reported on Sunday.

The first MoU with Nuclear Power Operations Research Institute will focus on nuclear energy operations and maintenance.

The second MoU with China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas looks to address cooperation related to high-temperature gas-cooled reactors.

The final one with the China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation seeks nuclear fuel supply and investment cooperation opportunities.

ENEC chief executive Mohamed Al Hammadi met with senior officials from the three organisations, who presented their business plans to discuss opportunities for future collaboration.

Al Hammadi, who became president of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (Wano) in October 2022, met with senior Wano Shanghai branch office staff to receive updates on their latest activities.

Wano includes more than 120 members responsible for operating more than 430 nuclear energy reactors across 30 countries worldwide.

ENEC is responsible for developing the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the Arab world’s first operational nuclear energy plant. Three units of Barakah delivered in three consecutive years generate up to 4,200mw of baseload.

China has 56 nuclear energy plants in operation, with an additional 20 units under construction. Beijing has recently announced a programme to invest $440 billion to build 150 reactors over the next 15 years to boost their energy security and sustainability.

In February, Nawah Energy Company, a subsidiary of ENEC, commenced commercial operations of unit three of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi.

ENEC and its subsidiaries are one unit away from completing the four-unit Barakah nuclear energy plant and delivering up to 25 percent of the UAE’s electricity demands.

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