December 4, 2023
December 4, 2023
DUBAI – United Arab Emirates – December 4, 2023 – TerraPower, a nuclear innovation company, and the UAE’s nuclear energy development organization, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), announced today the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore opportunities for the commercialization and global deployment of the Natrium1 technology.
The Natrium reactor and energy storage system is an advanced reactor that paves the way for the next generation of nuclear energy. It is a 345 MWe Generation IV sodium fast reactor that features a molten salt energy storage system that can boost power up to 500 MWe for over five hours. This allows the plant to offer 24/7 carbon-free energy, while providing flexible, dispatchable power that can scale up or down based on electricity demand. The first Natrium plant is being developed in the United States near a retiring coal plant and is expected to enter operation within a decade, making it one of the fastest and lowest-cost paths to clean energy.
Through ENEC, the UAE has a strong civil nuclear program commencing operations in 2020 on the first unit of its flagship Barakah nuclear energy plant. This is one of the world’s newest nuclear generation stations with plans for a fourth and final unit at the 5,600MW facility due to come online in 2024. TerraPower is leading the industry in bringing advanced nuclear reactors to market and is building the first Natrium demonstration plant through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP).
“Bringing advanced nuclear technologies to market is critical to meeting global decarbonization targets,” said TerraPower President and CEO Chris Levesque. “TerraPower and ENEC are leading the way in deploying nuclear plants, and this agreement allows us to share our expertise and design experience, and explore the opportunity for deployment of Natrium reactors around the world including additional locations in the United States. We look forward to evaluating new opportunities for Natrium and increasing our collaboration with ENEC.”
His Excellency Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC commented: “Our message at COP28 is that nuclear energy is vital to achieve Net Zero, in line with the announcement in the past days by world leaders who have called for a tripling of global nuclear energy capacity by 2050. In the UAE, nuclear is at the heart of our clean energy progress and strategy, with the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant contributing the largest decarbonization effort in our nation’s history. Our new agreement with TerraPower will facilitate cooperation in taking nuclear energy technology to the next level, by accelerating its deployment and its use for innovating new solutions including the production of clean molecules and hydrogen.”
Bill Gates, founder and chairman of TerraPower attended the MOU signing ceremony during COP28, along with David Livingston, Senior Advisor & Managing Director for Energy for the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, and with other U.S. Government officials.
This MOU will enable the exploration of the technical design and commercial viability for both electricity generation and non-traditional applications including hydrogen production. The agreement helps advance the U.S.-UAE Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE), which was launched in November 2022 and aims to help catalyze $100 billion in clean energy and decarbonization projects by 2035.
TerraPower is a leading nuclear innovation company that strives to improve the world through nuclear energy and science. Since it was founded by Bill Gates and a group of like-minded visionaries, TerraPower has emerged as an incubator and developer of ideas and technologies that offer energy independence, environmental sustainability, medical advancement and other cutting-edge opportunities. It accepts and tackles some of the world’s most difficult challenges. Behind each of its innovations and programs, TerraPower actively works to bring together the strengths and experiences of the world’s public and private sectors to answer pressing global needs. Learn more at terrapower.com.