The UAE’s Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with TerraPower as part of its renewable energy initiatives.TerraPower specializes in innovation in the nuclear energy sector and is owned by Bill Gates. The UAE’s collaboration with TerraPower aims to develop applications of advanced technologies in the sector and produce carbon-free electricity.
The collaboration will develop the technical design and commercial feasibility of developing natrium technology. Both the UAE and the US will collaborate to develop this technology for the electricity sector.
Ahmed AlMazrouei, chief operating officer at ENEC; and Chris Levesque, CEO of TerraPower signed the MoU on the sidelines of COP28 at Dubai Expo City.
Natrium technology will be used to produce carbon-free electricity. Moreover, it will be used in non-conventional nuclear energy applications that include hydrogen production. The technology seeks to accelerate the reduction of the carbon footprint in multiple sectors that require large amounts of energy. Through environmentally friendly electricity, Natrium technology will have a great impact on sustainability efforts.
Natrium reactors rely on sodium cooling technologies which makes them very cost-effective. Moreover, the reactors are coupled with a molten salt-based integrated energy storage system. This provides a stable supply of carbon-neutral energy and integrates seamlessly with power grids.
Furthermore, ENEC and TerraPower will evaluate ways to improve the use of Natrium technology. That is to ensure the stability of electricity grids by developing large energy storage capabilities.
The MoU will provide numerous opportunities for two companies in the areas of engineering, manpower, and supply chain development. The memorandum will also support projects within the country and provide job opportunities for Emirati engineers at TerraPower. Thus, ENEC will explore cooperation opportunities with TerraPower. The partnership will allow both parties to share their expertise in project management, construction, integration, operations, and research and development.
In addition, the memorandum will allow ENEC to export Natrium technology to the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. This aims to jointly accelerate the commercialization and global export of this technology. The efforts to develop this technology fall within the framework of The Partnership For Accelerating Clean Energy. Hence, the UAE and the United States launched this program in April 2023. The program aims to accelerate the development of carbon-free energy, tackle climate change, and finance clean energy technology.
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