CNNC extends cooperation with ENEC, EDF

04 June 2024

China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) on strategic cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. CNNC has also signed a comprehensive cooperation agreement with France's EDF on nuclear energy.

The signing of the agreement between ENEC and CNNC (Image: CNNC)

Under the MoU - signed by ENEC Managing Director and CEO Mohamed Al Hammadi and CNNC Chairman Yu Jianfeng in Beijing on 30 May - the two companies will explore opportunities to collaborate and ensure best practice in the development and operation of nuclear power plants. It followed the signing of a bilateral cooperation agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy witnessed and signed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan earlier that day.

ENEC said the MoU provides a framework for collaboration in short and long-term fuel cycle procurement, developing best practices in operation and maintenance of civil nuclear energy facilities, nuclear environmental protection and other areas of mutual interest - including the development of new nuclear energy plants, research and development and exploring future areas of cooperation for benchmarking and knowledge sharing.

Areas of collaboration in research and development include exploring the development of a nuclear technology centre, cooperation on Generation IV reactors and hydrogen production technology and the use of nuclear energy for desalination.

"The cooperation between China and Arab countries in the peaceful use of nuclear energy will benefit the whole world," Yu said. He said hopes that the two sides will work together to accelerate the pace of development in the fields of nuclear power, nuclear fuel and the comprehensive utilisation of nuclear energy.

Al Hammadi added that the signing of the bilateral cooperation document on the peaceful use of nuclear energy by the two governments is an important milestone, providing institutional guarantees for business cooperation between enterprises of the two countries.

The latest agreement builds on previous cooperation initiatives between ENEC and CNNC, including an MoU signed in December last year at COP28, which outlined collaboration on new nuclear energy plants in third countries and the deployment of advanced reactor technologies. Also, at COP28, ENEC and CNNC signed an MoU to explore cooperation opportunities for the development of high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs) to set out the pathway for HTGR technology development and the potential to deploy the technology in other countries.

Enhance cooperation with EDF

Also on 30 May, during a meeting between CNNC's Yu and EDF Chairman and CEO Luc Rémont, a comprehensive cooperation agreement on nuclear energy was signed.

The signing of the agreement between EDF and CNNC (Image: CNNC)

Afterwards, CNNC Deputy Chief Engineer and chairman of China Nuclear Engineering Chen Baozhi, EDF Senior Executive Vice President Thierry Mouhet and EDF China President Joseph Fu Kaide signed a special cooperation agreement on advanced nuclear power construction.

Under the cooperation agreement, the partners will further strengthen cooperation in various fields related to nuclear power, work together to help the two countries achieve their carbon neutrality goals, and inject strong momentum into improving global nuclear energy governance, promoting economic and social development in China and France.

CNNC noted that this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, and the 40th anniversary of the entry of EDF into the Chinese market. "Nuclear energy cooperation has become one of the most stable areas of cooperation between China and France," it said, adding that the latest agreement marks "the opening of a new chapter of all-round, multi-field and in-depth cooperation between the two sides".

Researched and written by World Nuclear News