The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and Nuclearelectrica have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for bilateral cooperation within the nuclear energy sector to support the growth of this critical energy source in tackling the dual challenges of energy security and climate change.

The objective of the MoU is to provide both parties with an enabling framework for potential collaboration on the development and expansion of nuclear energy programmes in the UAE and Romania, as well as within Central and Eastern Europe.

Nuclear energy is recognised by both the UAE and Romania as an essential clean energy resource in accelerating decarbonisation of the power sector and other heavy industries, as well as wider applications including the production of clean hydrogen and other clean molecules, as well as for water desalination.

ENEC and Nuclearelectrica will work together to assess potential partnerships in operations and maintenance support of nuclear energy plants, capacity building and human capital development, as well as synergies in research and development (R&D). The two parties will share experience in developing financing and commercial frameworks of nuclear programmes, as well as exchanging knowledge on project management capabilities.

Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, said, “Our partnership with Nuclearelectrica reaffirms our commitment to advancing Net Zero nuclear globally. As more and more nations recognise the crucial role nuclear energy plays as a proven solution to boosting domestic energy security and in parallel decarbonising the power sector, as well as heavy industry through the generation of heat, steam and clean hydrogen, international partnerships will become even more critical to accelerating the development of nuclear programmes. Our nation has benefited from long-term investments in nuclear energy, which supports economic diversification and sustainable development. With three commercially operational reactors at the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, we are generating abundant clean electricity 24/7, sustainably powering the UAE, whilst inspiring a new generation of climate change champions. We look forward to working with Nuclearelectrica to explore opportunities to grow the global nuclear fleet and ensure reliable and sustainable operations, in addition to sharing knowledge on advanced technologies such as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and other advanced technologies.”

A powerhouse for the nation’s development, energy security and stability, the Barakah Plant generates thousands of high-value jobs and stimulates millions of dollars of value for local companies. Barakah provides significant environmental benefits for the nation today, and for the next 60 years and beyond and this will be showcased at COP28 in November, which will be held in Dubai, UAE. Barakah is already preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions - the leading cause of climate change - every year – and is freeing up billions of dollars of natural gas annually that would have otherwise been used for electricity generation.

Cosmin Ghita, Chief Executive Officer of Nuclearelectrica, said, "Over the past years, the nuclear industry has proven that development, technological advancement and timely implementation are a direct consequence of international cooperation, involvement at the level of governmental and non-governmental organisations, operators and partner entities. The nuclear industry is a strategic resource in countries with tradition and expertise or in countries that consider the development of nuclear capabilities as a solution to various environmental or energy system challenges. Experienced operators face the same challenges and see the same opportunities and we welcome this MoU with ENEC as we are sure that the exchange of experience in key areas, together with the identification of measures and new frameworks for cooperation and development will have a direct beneficial impact on both companies."

SN Nuclearelectrica SA has strategic investment projects in progress worth an estimated 12 billion Euro including Cernavoda Unit 1 Refurbishment, Units 3 and 4 Projects, development of small modular reactors in cooperation with NuScale, as well as support projects for current operations, such as the Tritium Removal Facility. SNN's investment projects contribute clean energy to Romania's energy stability, socio-economic development, the development of the nuclear industry and the training of a new generation of specialists. The completion of SN Nuclearelectrica SA's investment projects will lead, after 2031, to the provision of approximately 33 percent of the consumption needs and an estimated 66 percent of the energy without CO2 emissions at national level, as well as the avoidance of the release into the atmosphere of approximately 24 million tons of CO2 annually.