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UAE and China to explore global nuclear partnership

When all four reactors are online the $32bn Barakah plant is set to generate 5.6GW of power Wam
The Barakah nuclear plant in the UAE, which will generate 5.6GW of power

The UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) will explore development and co-investment opportunities for new nuclear energy plants around the world. 

Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and chief executive of ENEC, and Yu Jianfeng, chairman of CNNC, signed a cooperation agreement during the Cop28 summit which ended last week, the state-run WAM news agency said.

The two entities will identify countries looking to expand their existing nuclear energy capacity, or to enter into the nuclear energy sector for the first time to offer their expertise, Wam said.

They will form a joint working group to use strengths in project management, nuclear technology development and implementation, funding, construction and operation, human resources and supply chain development.

Last month, the fourth and final unit at the UAE’s Barakah nuclear plant was licensed to begin operations. The plant should meet 25 percent of the UAE’s energy needs when fully operational.

“Having successfully created the Barakah Plant, we are now focused on strategic investments and innovation that accelerate the global drive to triple global nuclear energy capacity by 2050,” Al Hammadi said.

Earlier this year, ENEC announced the signing of three memoranda of understanding with the Nuclear Power Operations Research Institute, the China National Nuclear Corporation Overseas and the China Nuclear Energy Industry Corporation. 

China has more than 50 nuclear energy plants in operation, with a further 20 under construction.

In addition, ENEC and CNNC signed an agreement to explore potential cooperation opportunities for developing and deploying high-temperature gas-cooled reactors.

These reactors offer enhanced safety and efficiency and can be used for a wide range of applications, for power generation, as well as heat and clean molecules.  

Earlier this month leaders from 21 countries pledged to treble global nuclear capacity by 2050, in a bid to advance the transition towards net zero.

Nine heads of state endorsed the declaration to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050 during the Cop28 summit.

Canada, Czechia, Ghana, Finland, Hungary, Japan, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, the UAE, the US and the UK have endorsed the declaration.

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