Press Release

ENEC meets with Idaho National Laboratory experts to explore latest developments in advanced nuclear and clean energy technologies

  • With the Barakah Plant operating, ENEC is focused on realizing the full value of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program
  • Senior delegation led by H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi visits the United States’ nuclear energy laboratory, based in Idaho, USA
  • ENEC and INL identifying opportunities to collaborate
  • Visit coincides with wider delegation visit to multiple US clean energy companies and academic institutions

Abu Dhabi, UAE – 23 February 2023: The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), responsible for delivering the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, met with experts from Idaho National Laboratory (INL), USA, one of the world’s largest and most advanced scientific research institutions to evaluate the latest in clean energy technologies, as part of its mission to rapidly decarbonize the UAE’s electricity grid.

The senior delegation, led by His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, received a comprehensive briefing and tour over two days from officials from INL and the U.S. Department of Energy to see the latest developments and discuss plans for advanced nuclear technologies, including small modular reactors, clean hydrogen generation, advanced nuclear fuels and materials, as well as the latest technologies in integrated grid management and cybersecurity.

Senior delegation led by H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi outside.

INL is one of the world’s most important research centers for clean energy innovation, with a focus on development, demonstration and deployment to support industry in delivering the clean energy transition needed in a realistic and proven manner. As ENEC now focuses on realizing the full value of the UAE Program, developing partnerships with institutions including INL is key to driving decarbonization, as well as developing clean energy molecules, in a manner that is realistic, data driven, and supports energy security in addition to energy sustainability.

“INL is excited to partner with ENEC,” said INL Director John Wagner. “This is a key step forward to bring about a global clean energy future.”

Idaho National Laboratory was founded in 1949 and sits on over 2,305 square kilometers, the size of Luxembourg, and is home to more than 5,700 researchers and support staff members innovating nuclear energy research, renewable energy systems and security solutions.

ENEC meets with Idaho National Laboratory.

INL operates the world’s premier materials test reactor and is one of only two U.S. Department of Energy reactors in the U.S. that produces medical isotopes. INL is currently developing a number of test beds to support U.S. companies currently developing their small modular reactor technology. The lab is also currently testing commercial hydrogen electrolyzers, among other innovative technologies.

Fifty-two reactors have been built and operated over the past 70 years at INL, including the first nuclear reactor to generate usable electricity in 1951, and Arco, a small city in Idaho, was the first to be powered by electricity generated from a nuclear reactor at INL in 1955.

A key area of focus is on clean energy systems, which today are made up of a combination of renewable energy sources and nuclear energy. Nuclear energy complements the intermittent renewables, as the reliable, constant and full power (baseload electricity) is necessary for a stable grid and overall energy security. Nuclear energy provides baseload electricity regardless of weather conditions and is a catalyst to new innovation in areas like clean hydrogen.

Senior delegation led by H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi.

ENEC’s Barakah Plant, a nation-defining strategic energy infrastructure project, is spearheading the UAE’s decarbonization efforts by preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions annually by supplying constant clean electricity. Today, Barakah represents just 20% of the wider UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program with ENEC investing in R&D and innovation to further accelerate the opportunities within the UAE’s clean energy transition. A powerhouse for the nation’s development, energy security and stability, the plant generates thousands of high-value jobs and stimulates millions of dollars of value for local companies.

The role of nuclear in the global energy transition has never been so emphasized and critical. In the global pathway to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that nuclear power needs to double between 2020 and 2050, with construction of new plants needed in all countries that are open to the technology, whether large reactors or small modular reactors.

Later this year, the UAE will host the annual climate change conference COP28, which will be a defining moment as world leaders review climate change action. This will be an opportunity for visitors to see the UAE’s approach to a realistic clean energy transition, based on proven technologies, to ensure energy security and energy sustainability goals are achieved in parallel.

About the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation
The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy. Established by decree in December 2009 by the late His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ENEC represents all aspects of the United Arab Emirates Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program.

ENEC’s flagship Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is generating safe, clean and reliable 24/7 electricity for the United Arab Emirates, supporting the nation’s social and economic growth and tackling climate change. As a result, the Barakah Plant is a sustainable powerhouse for the nation, spearheading the United Arab Emirates’ Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative by leading the largest decarbonization effort in the UAE and Arab World. ENEC is exploring further opportunities through its R&D Roadmap, including advanced nuclear technologies such as small modular reactor technology and clean hydrogen generation, as well as in related industries, such as space exploration, agriculture and medicine.

About Nawah Energy Company
A Joint Venture subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and partially owned by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Nawah Energy Company has been mandated to safely operate and maintain Units 1 to 4 of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in adherence to the highest standards of quality, safety, security, and operational transparency.

Nawah is a multinational, multicultural company committed to operating excellence through its skilled nuclear energy workforce in the United Arab Emirates, with a focus on the development of UAE Nationals, and ensuring the highest levels of efficiency and standards in operating the Barakah Plant.

About Barakah One Company
A Joint Venture subsidiary of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and partially owned by the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), Barakah One Company is in charge of representing the financial and commercial interests of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant project.

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About Idaho National Laboratory
Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, and also performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. For more information, visit Follow us on social media: TwitterFacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.