Representatives from the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the EFI Foundation, Clean Air Task Force (CATF), and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) gathered at NTI on September 22, 2023, to discuss progress on the shared goal of promoting the responsible, sustainable, and effective expansion of nuclear energy.
In October 2022, NTI and ENEC undertook a strategic partnership to examine existing standards in nuclear energy development and identify new cooperative fuel cycle strategies that support the global expansion of nuclear energy in a responsible, sustainable, secure, and transparent manner. NTI has since partnered with the EFI Foundation and CATF to chart options for—and pathways to—accelerated and responsible nuclear energy development. Collaborative analysis from the three institutions will be released in the coming months.
During the September meeting, Co-Chair and CEO of NTI and CEO and President of the EFI Foundation Ernest J. Moniz, Executive Director of CATF Armond Cohen, and experts from NTI, EFI Foundation, and CATF briefed Managing Director and CEO of ENEC His Excellency Mohamed Al Hammadi and ENEC staff on their work.
“It’s critical that the countries embarking on nuclear energy learn from the countries that have demonstrated how to do it right and have resources that can help them navigate the key obstacles they will encounter along the way,” Moniz said. “Every country will take a unique path, but there are common elements that they will need to overcome.”
Al Hammadi provided an update on ENEC’s latest activities, particularly in the context of the upcoming 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which the UAE will host in November. “It’s encouraging to see the positive feedback that the UAE is receiving internationally on the success of our Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, and now our Net Zero Nuclear initiative,” he said. “We’re looking forward to what we can do beyond Barakah, to help other countries replicate our success and use nuclear power to make a positive impact on the climate targets we have set.”
Cohen noted that “nuclear energy could have a critical role to play in helping to decarbonize the global economy to manage climate change. It can also provide access to modern energy for a rapidly urbanizing and vastly underpowered world. Recognizing those benefits, many new countries are eager to access it. Nuclear-embarking countries can learn much from the UAE’s recent experience in successfully bringing nuclear energy online at scale from a zero base. Based on this experience, COP28 offers the opportunity to rethink the nuclear delivery, finance, and regulatory model so we can reach the 50-100 gigawatt per year addition rate that’s needed to make a meaningful climate and human development impact.”