The Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) convened 30 experts from the United Arab Emirates and the United States on September 13, 2022 for a workshop on “The Nuclear Fuel Cycle in the Middle East: Prospects and Opportunities.” The experts presented on and discussed topics related to the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle, including the role of nuclear energy in meeting regional energy demand, short- and long-term fuel supply challenges, and methods for navigating those challenges safely, sustainably, and in a way that promotes strong non-proliferation standards and norms.
“At NTI, we are striving for a world that uses nuclear energy exclusively for peaceful purposes, so one of the areas we focus on is identifying opportunities for countries with legitimate peaceful nuclear uses to have sustainable access to the materials they require,” said Scott Roecker, vice president of Nuclear Materials Security at NTI, who led NTI’s delegation at the workshop in Abu Dhabi. “This was a particularly timely and productive workshop, given concerns around fuel supply interruptions resulting from current geopolitical events in the energy sector.”
His Excellency Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and chief executive officer of ENEC, attended the workshop and said, “The UAE is the region’s leader in nuclear energy, and the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is operated in accordance with the highest international standards for safety, security, and non-proliferation. ENEC is always looking for new ways to enhance the sustainability of the UAE program, and engaging with NTI offers great value through the sharing of experience and knowledge transfer.”
This was the second NTI-ENEC jointly hosted workshop on issues related to the nuclear fuel cycle. In December 2019, NTI experts, ENEC operations managers, and experts from Finland and Sweden met in Abu Dhabi to discuss various methods for storing and disposing of spent fuel in line with global non-proliferation standards to learn from the Fins’ and Swedes’ experience with spent fuel management.