ENEC and Terrestrial Energy Sign MOU to Collaborate and Cooperate on IMSR Plant Development and Deployment


The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Terrestrial Energy at the Net Zero Nuclear Summit, on the sidelines of COP 28. The agreement was signed by His Excellency (H.E.) Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, and Simon Irish, Chief Executive Officer of Terrestrial Energy.

Terrestrial Energy is a leading technology company, and developer of a nuclear plant capable of suppling both high-temperature heat and electricity. The company’s use of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), a Generation IV reactor technology, enables the plant’s dual role capability and transformative commercial potential.  It can supply secure, reliable, emissions-free, and low-cost energy to industry across a wide range of industrial processes such as hydrogen, ammonia, aluminium and steel production.  

The MoU is part of the first phase of the recently launched ENEC ADVANCE Program, which aims to expedite and centralize the UAE’s approach to deploying state-of-the-art nuclear technology, boosting value streams through the generation of clean electrons and molecules; offering a clear example of the action-oriented approach the nation is taking to fast-track the clean energy transition through leveraging the latest technologies in the nuclear energy sector.

ENEC and Terrestrial Energy will focus on the potential of IMSR plants for electricity generation and for large scale industrial heat applications.  These uses include the IMSR plant’s role in the decarbonization of energy-intensive and hard-to-abate industrial sectors, such as for zero-carbon molecule production. The parties will also consider frameworks for development and deployment of the IMSR plant for target industrial applications in the UAE and other markets.

H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi commented: “We are committed to exploring the latest technologies in advanced reactors as we continue to rapidly decarbonize the power sector through clean electricity from nuclear energy. The development of the Barakah Plant in the UAE has provided a catalyst for exploration of new technologies in the nuclear sector as we innovate to tackle climate change. At COP28, 22 countries have recognized the critical need for more nuclear, advocating for a tripling of global nuclear energy capacity by 2050 to achieve net zero. Through new solutions like Generation IV reactors and Small Modular Reactors, we can get closer to delivering the significant volumes of clean electrons and molecules needed to ensure that we sustainably power our heavy industries whilst preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions. We look forward to close collaboration with Terrestrial Energy as we identify the potential deployment of IMSR technology in the UAE and overseas.”

Simon Irish CEO, Terrestrial Energy said: "the UAE is an energy pioneer and a nuclear energy pioneer.  We are pleased to partner with ENEC as the UAE leads the international community at the annual COP conference, and with its Net Zero Nuclear initiative, the first of its kind for a COP. Our IMSR, a Generation IV reactor technology, has immense potential to support industrial growth and decarbonization. Its unique capabilities are most relevant to the decarbonization of hard-to-abate industrial sectors, essential for COP28 goals.  Terrestrial Energy’s prioritization of national and international regulatory requirements supports the aims of our MOU as does the IMSR’s use of nuclear fuel at standard enrichment levels, which has long-established international acceptance. We look forward to working with ENEC to accelerate development and deployment of the IMSR plant in target industrial applications and commercial markets as part of the ENEC ADVANCE Program.”

The ENEC ADVANCE Program is focused on evaluating the latest technologies in the Generation IV, Small Modular Reactor and microreactor categories, which can generate clean electrons and molecules, such as steam, hydrogen and ammonia, as well as process heat for industrial processes. In doing so, ENEC, the UAE’s only mandated nuclear energy developer, will work with national stakeholders to determine deployment pathways, and with international partners, including Terrestrial Energy, for both technology and project collaboration opportunities.

As a cornerstone of the global nuclear energy landscape, ENEC’s Barakah Plant distinguishes itself with its four APR-1400 units, positioning it among the most advanced gigawatt nuclear energy installations worldwide and a major contributor to the UAE’s progress towards achieving Net Zero by 2050. The expertise and clean electricity generated by the Barakah Plant are the driving forces behind innovation in transitioning to new clean solutions and R&D.