Nuclearelectrica and ENEC sign MoU on cooperation

22 March 2023

Romania's Nuclearelectrica and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on the "potential development and expansion of nuclear energy programmes in the United Arab Emirates and Romania as well as within central and eastern Europe".

There are life extension, and expansion, plans for Cernavoda (Image: Nuclearelectrica)

The two companies said the MoU would see them "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. 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 Al Hammadi, Managing Director and CEO 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."

Nuclearelectrica CEO Cosmin Ghita said: "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."

Work to construct four Korean-designed APR-1400 units at Barakah in the UAE began in 2012. The first unit started up and was connected to the grid in August 2020 and began commercial operation in April 2021; unit 2 was grid-connected in September 2021 and began commercial operation in March 2022.

The first three of these units entered commercial operation in April 2021, March 2022 and February 2023, respectively, while the fourth unit is in the final stages of commissioning prior to construction completion. The three operating units at the plant already provided more than 80% of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi's clean electricity consumption in December 2022, ENEC said, and when complete, the four-unit plant is expected to meet up to 25% of the UAE's electricity demand.

Nuclearelectrica, which is 82% state-owned, operates two CANDU units at Cernavoda nuclear power plant. There are plans for a big expansion of nuclear energy in Romania, including life extension for the existing units, the completion of Cernavoda 3 and 4, plus proposals for small modular reactors.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News