General Atomics, UAE sign memorandum of understanding

March 25, 2024, 3:09PMNuclear News
Scott Forney (left), president of General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems and Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and CEO of ENEC. (Photo: General Atomics)

General Atomics announced last week that it will work with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation to help find opportunities to support the United Arab Emirates.

Representatives from both companies signed a memorandum of understanding at the CERAWeek conference in Houston, Texas. The ENEC will work closest with General Atomics’ GA-EMS team, which develops new technologies and aims to deliver breakthrough solutions supporting environments from undersea to space.

The partnership: General Atomics and is already working with the ENEC on advanced nuclear reactors, but this MOU adds formal collaboration on several more projects, including opportunities to utilize GA-EMS’ SiGA cladding for nuclear reactor applications and Fast Modular Nuclear Reactor designs.

Cladding made with silicon carbide (a hard chemical compound containing silicon and carbon) improves the safety and affordability of existing light water reactors, and General Atomics officials say it will reduce outage time.

“We look forward to working with ENEC to develop potential opportunities to fast-track the development of advanced fuels, silicon carbide cladding and new modular reactor designs to support the UAE’s innovation-driven nuclear energy initiatives,” said Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. “ENEC has extensive experience in developing nuclear programs and building and operating reactor systems to the highest standards of safety, quality, and security.”

From the UAE: The nation currently has three nuclear reactors in operation, generating around 4,000 MWe, which is 12.4 percent of the UAE’s annual energy consumption.

Mohamed Al Hammadi, managing director and chief executive officer of ENEC, said, “Having successfully developed the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, the largest single source of clean electricity in the UAE, we are now focused on building international partnerships to drive innovation and R&D in new clean energy solutions. The Barakah Plant is a catalyst for a new era of technological advancement and cooperation on a global level to collectively take us closer to our Net Zero targets.”

He continued, “We look forward to working with General Atomics to identify areas of potential collaboration to drive progress within the international nuclear energy industry.”

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