ABU DHABI – The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, has been appointed as the new President of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) after being voted in by members during the WANO Biennial General Meeting (BGM) in Prague, Czech Republic.

With newcomer nations looking to join WANO to support them in the development of their own civil nuclear facilities, many see the UAE as a benchmark for the delivery of civil nuclear energy to the highest standards of safety, quality and transparency.

Al Hammadi highlighted his commitment to supporting newcomer nations, in addition to existing members, to enhance operational safety and reliability across the global fleet.

The selection of ENEC’s MD & CEO as the new President and the first Emirati and the first Arab to serve in this position also highlights the UAE’s continued collaboration with the global nuclear community, and the high standards of safety, security and performance that ENEC adheres to across all aspects of its nuclear programme.

In his new role, he will lead WANO, featuring three members from each regional centre, and promote direct engagement of members at a high level, to successfully implement WANO’s mission. ENEC joined WANO in October 2010, and Al Hammadi was elected to the WANO Atlanta Centre Governing Board in August 2015.

“The UAE is a global leader in nuclear energy development, with the Barakah Plant implementing the best practice and cumulative experience of the global nuclear energy industry through working closely with WANO and its network of operating countries. It is an honour to be appointed President of WANO, and yet another example of the international community’s confidence in the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme. Since its inception, the UAE Programme has been supported by an extensive network of international organisations and collaborated with some of the world’s most renowned experts in nuclear energy. I look forward to promoting WANO internationally and identifying further opportunities for collaboration with other key nuclear organisations, as well as to support the development of advanced nuclear technologies, such as SMRs, to ensure we stay ahead of the curve in supporting members," said Al Hammadi.

WANO was created in 1989 to promote the sharing of nuclear operating lessons learned and best practice across the global fleet of civil nuclear reactors. Today, WANO’s mission continues to maximize the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide, and the group includes more than 120 members responsible for operating more than 430 nuclear energy reactors around the world including in the United States of America, Europe, and Asia.

WANO is committed to meeting a set of ambitious 2030 industry targets, helping every country and company involved in civil nuclear operations achieve the highest possible standards of nuclear safety through the exchange of information and best practices. ENEC has been an active WANO member since 2010, regularly participating in the organization’s workshops, events, training programs and undergoing key pre start-up and peer reviews.

With both Units 1 and 2 generating clean electricity every minute of the day and with Unit 3 now connected to the grid in recent days – the Barakah Plant is spearheading the decarbonization of the UAE’s power sector and forms an essential component of the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy. The nuclear sector as whole is a vital part of the UAE’s clean energy ecosystem of low-carbon technologies, ensuring the reliability, efficiency and resilience of the UAE grid for at least the next 60 years.

Barakah is just the beginning, comprising 20% of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme. With abundant clean electricity flowing 24/7, ENEC is now focused on exploring and incubating strategic investments in nuclear energy locally and internationally that support the growth and development goals of the UAE.