ENEC showcases the success of the UAE’s nuclear energy sector in achieving progress towards Net Zero at IAEA Ministerial Conference


- H. E. Mohamed Al Hammadi, shares insights on the UAE’s realistic, long-term and data-driven approach to developing nuclear energy to drive energy security and sustainability

- UAE is driving rapid decarbonization of the power sector through its diversified energy mix - seen as a benchmark for new nuclear energy projects worldwide

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) has showcased the success and impact of the UAE nuclear energy sector at the 5th annual International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, which is taking place in Washington DC, United States from 26 to 28 October. The conference brings together ministers, policymakers, senior officials and experts to engage in high-level dialogue on the role of nuclear energy in the transition to clean energy sources, and its contribution to sustainable development and climate change mitigation, with momentum in the peaceful nuclear sector taking on a new pace.

This year’s Ministerial Conference builds on the success of Abu Dhabi hosting the last Ministerial Conference in 2017. At the time, the Barakah plant was in the construction phase, yet as a result of the continued support of the IAEA and experts from many responsible nations around the world, the UAE has made swift and safe progress at Barakah with the Plant now the single largest source of clean electricity in the Nation with two commercially operating reactors, a third connected to the UAE grid and a fourth reactor in the final stages of commissioning.

His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC, participated in the panel session ‘Fulfilling the Promise: Achieving Net Zero with Low Carbon Nuclear Energy’ alongside distinguished experts from the nuclear energy industry including Rafael Grossi, Director General of the IAEA and William D. Magwood, IV, Director General of the OECD-NEA. Discussions at the panel event focused on the essential role of nuclear energy and operational excellence of the global fleet in the transition to clean energy to address challenges to maximize decarbonization of the power sector. Recently elected President of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO), H.E. Al Hammadi highlighted how the UAE took a long-term, data-driven, realistic approach to developing nuclear energy, which is today guaranteeing energy security and driving rapid decarbonization of the power sector.

 “At ENEC, we are committed to sharing our experience with ministers, policymakers, senior officials and experts on the international stage, while showcasing the UAE’s global success story for new nuclear developments. The UAE is a model for other newcomer nations attending the conference, as nuclear accelerates both the UAE’s national energy security and its energy sustainability. Besides hydropower, no other proven technology apart from nuclear today can deliver the same level of large-scale decarbonization. Since the last IAEA Conference in 2017 held in Abu Dhabi, the UAE has made significant progress with the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions annually through commercial operations of Units 1 and 2 of the Barakah Plant. With 80 percent of the UAE Program still to come as we advance our work in advanced nuclear reactors and clean hydrogen, amongst others, we will continue to adhere to our 2008 policy commitments for safety, security, transparency and non-proliferation to meet the UAE’s economic requirements and growth, achieve sustainability goals, an in parallel deliver energy security and resilience,” H.E. Al Hammadi said.

H.E., in his role leading the UAE delegation, thanked DG Grossi of the IAEA and Secretary Jennifer Granholm, US Secretary and President of the Conference for convening nations from around the world to discuss the crucial role of nuclear energy in delivering Net Zero 2050.

H.E. Al Hammadi highlighted how Barakah Plant creates high-value careers for bright UAE Nationals and has one of the highest participation levels of female employees, as part of ENEC’s commitment to supporting the brightest Emirati females in joining the UAE’s growing nuclear sector. The UAE has received valuable support from the IAEA over the past years, developing nuclear infrastructure and the human capabilities required for a safe, secure and successful nuclear energy program.

Participation at the IAEA Ministerial Conference follows a number of high-level meetings with the US Department of Energy, Department of State amongst others, as ENEC works to build on its international partnership with US expert organizations to advance its work to fully realize the value of the wider UAE program. 

ENEC has developed 97% of the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, comprised of four third-generation reactors called the APR1400 – one of the most technologically advanced nuclear reactor designs in the world, each with a 1,400 megawatts of zero-carbon emission electricity capacity. To realize the full value of the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program, ENEC is studying opportunities for clean hydrogen generation, advanced nuclear technologies including SMRs, and R&D to enhance security, reliability and longevity of operating Units.