Terrestrial Energy and ENEC Sign MOU to Collaborate and Cooperate on IMSR Plant Development and Deployment

OAKVILLE, Ontario and CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 12, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Terrestrial Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) at the Net Zero Nuclear Summit, on the sidelines of COP 28. The agreement was signed by His Excellency (H.E.) Mohamed Al Hammadi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ENEC and Simon Irish, Chief Executive Officer of Terrestrial Energy.

Terrestrial Energy is a leading technology company, and developer of a nuclear plant capable of suppling both high-temperature heat and electricity. The company’s use of its Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR), a Generation IV reactor technology, enables the plant’s dual role capability and transformative commercial potential. It can supply secure, reliable, emissions-free, and low-cost energy (both electricity and heat) to industry across a wide range of industrial processes such as hydrogen, ammonia, aluminum and steel production.

The MoU is part of the recently launched ENEC ADVANCE Program, which will evaluate the latest advancements in nuclear energy technologies to strengthen the UAE’s position as a leading nation in delivering climate action by accelerating the global clean energy transition to Net Zero.

ENEC and Terrestrial Energy will collaborate to focus on the potential of IMSR plant for electricity generation and for large-scale industrial heat applications. These uses include the IMSR plant’s role in decarbonizing energy-intensive and hard-to-abate industrial sectors. The parties will also consider frameworks for development and deployment of the IMSR plant in target industrial applications in the UAE and other markets.

H.E. Mohamed Al Hammadi commented: “We are committed to exploring the latest technologies in advanced reactors as we continue to rapidly decarbonize the power sector through clean electricity from nuclear energy. The development of the Barakah Plant in the UAE has provided a catalyst for exploration of new technologies in the nuclear sector as we innovate to tackle climate change. At COP28, 22 countries have recognized the critical need for more nuclear, advocating for a tripling of global nuclear energy capacity by 2050 to achieve net zero. Through new solutions like Generation IV reactors and Small Modular Reactors, we can get closer to delivering the significant volumes of clean electrons and molecules needed to ensure that we sustainably power our heavy industries whilst preventing millions of tons of carbon emissions. We look forward to close collaboration with Terrestrial Energy as we identify the potential deployment of IMSR technology in the UAE and overseas.”

Simon Irish CEO, Terrestrial Energy said: “The UAE is an energy pioneer and a nuclear energy pioneer. We are pleased to partner with ENEC as the UAE leads the international community at the annual COP conference, and with its Net Zero Nuclear initiative, the first of its kind for a COP event. Our IMSR, a Generation IV reactor technology, has immense potential to support industrial growth and decarbonization. Its unique capabilities are most relevant to the decarbonization of hard-to-abate industrial sectors, essential to meet COP28 goals. Terrestrial Energy’s prioritization of national and international regulatory requirements supports the aims of our MOU as does the IMSR’s use of nuclear fuel at standard enrichment levels, which has long-established international acceptance. We look forward to working with ENEC to accelerate development and deployment of the IMSR plant in target industrial applications and commercial markets.”

As a cornerstone of the global nuclear energy landscape, ENEC’s Barakah Plant distinguishes itself with its four APR-1400 units, positioning it among the most advanced gigawatt nuclear energy installations worldwide and a major contributor to the UAE’s progress towards achieving Net Zero by 2050. The expertise and clean electricity generated by the Barakah Plant are the driving forces behind innovation in transitioning to new clean solutions and R&D.

In April 2023, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), following a systematic and multi-year review against Canadian regulatory requirements, concluded that there were no fundamental barriers to licensing the IMSR plant for commercial use. This was the first regulatory review of a commercial nuclear plant using molten salt reactor technology and the first advanced, high-temperature fission technology to complete a review of this type.  

In June 2022, the U.S. NRC and the CNSC completed a joint agency review of IMSR technology, a first for Generation IV reactor technology, providing clear evidence that international regulatory cooperation and harmonization are achievable. In August 2022, Terrestrial Energy in collaboration with Canadian Nuclear Laboratories completed an assessment of techniques to “safeguard” nuclear materials effectively and securely during IMSR plant operation, a requirement that is essential for commercialization. “Safeguards” is an international regulatory framework verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under international treaty arrangements, which ensures the security and control of nuclear materials.

The conventional nuclear power plant fuel used by the IMSR – Standard Assay Low Enriched Uranium – is the only fuel available and transportable today for civilian reactor use and has international regulatory acceptance. Its use supports an early deployment path for IMSR plants across multiple markets.   In August 2023, Terrestrial Energy signed a manufacturing and supply contract with Springfields Fuels Limited, a subsidiary of Westinghouse, for the design and construction of an IMSR fuel pilot plant. Springfields' reactor fuel manufacturing site in Preston, United Kingdom has extensive existing infrastructure available today to support the fuel supply for IMSR development, and scalable to support a fleet of IMSR plants operating in the 2030s.

Terrestrial Energy is proud to be a signatory to the international pledge, led by ENEC and the World Nuclear Association, to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050. It is also a signatory to the UN Global Compact.

About the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation

The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy. Established by decree in December 2009 by the late His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ENEC represents all aspects of the United Arab Emirates Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program.
ENEC’s flagship Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant is generating safe, clean and reliable 24/7 electricity for the United Arab Emirates, supporting the Nation’s social and economic growth and tackling climate change. As a result, the Barakah Plant is a sustainable powerhouse for the Nation, spearheading the United Arab Emirates’ Net Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative by leading the largest decarbonization effort in the UAE and Arab World. ENEC is exploring further opportunities through its R&D Roadmap, including advanced nuclear technologies such as Small Modular Reactor (SMR) technology and clean hydrogen generation, as well as in related industries, such as space exploration, agriculture and medicine.

About Terrestrial Energy

Terrestrial Energy is a developer of Generation IV nuclear plants that use its proprietary Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR) technology. IMSR technology captures the full transformative operating benefits of molten salt reactor technology in a plant design that represents true innovation in cost reduction, versatility and functionality of nuclear energy supply. IMSR plants will supply zero-carbon, reliable, dispatchable, low-cost high-temperature industrial heat and electricity for a dual-use energy role relevant to many industrial applications, such as chemical synthesis and desalination. In so doing, they extend the application of nuclear energy far beyond electric power markets. IMSR plants have the potential to make substantial contributions to industrial competitiveness, energy security, and economic growth. Their deployment will support rapid global decarbonization of the primary energy system by displacing fossil fuel combustion across a broad spectrum. Terrestrial Energy uses an innovative design, and proven and demonstrated molten salt reactor technology, which offers a unique set of operating characteristics that deliver high and compelling commercial potential. Terrestrial Energy is engaged with regulators, suppliers and industrial partners to build, license and commission the first IMSR power plants in the early 2030s.

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