Dubai: The Managing Director and CEO of Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), Mohamed Ibrahim Al Hammadi, has been appointed as the new president of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) at the recently-concluded WANO Biennial General Meeting (BGM) in Prague, Czech Republic.
Al Hammadi, the first Emirati and Arab executive appointed to the post, highlighted his commitment to enhance operational safety and reliability across the global fleet. ENEC joined WANO in October 2010, and Al Hammadi was first elected to the WANO Atlanta Center Governing Board in August 2015.
He said: “The UAE is a global leader in nuclear energy development, with the Barakah Plant implementing the best practice and cumulative experience of the global nuclear energy industry through working closely with WANO and its network of operating countries. It is an honour to be appointed president of WANO, which is another example of the international community’s confidence in the UAE’s Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme.
“I look forward to promoting WANO internationally and identifying further opportunities for collaboration with other key nuclear organisations, as well as to support the development of advanced nuclear technologies, such as SMRs (small modular reactors), to ensure we stay ahead of the curve in supporting members,” he added.
WANO was created in 1989 to promote the sharing of nuclear operating lessons learnt and best practice across the global fleet of civil nuclear reactors. Today, WANO’s mission continues to maximise the safety and reliability of nuclear power plants worldwide, and the group includes more than 120 members responsible for operating more than 430 nuclear energy reactors around the world including in the United States of America, Europe, and Asia.
WANO is committed to meeting a set of ambitious 2030 industry targets, helping every country and company involved in civil nuclear operations achieve the highest possible standards of nuclear safety through the exchange of information and best practices.
ENEC has been an active WANO member since 2010, regularly participating in the organisation’s workshops, events, training programs and undergoing key pre start-up and peer reviews. With both Units 1 and 2 generating clean electricity every minute of the day and with Unit 3 now connected to the grid in recent days — the Barakah Plant is spearheading the decarbonisation of the UAE’s power sector and forms an essential component of the UAE’s Net Zero 2050 Strategy. The nuclear sector as whole is a vital part of the UAE’s clean energy ecosystem of low-carbon technologies, ensuring the reliability, efficiency and resilience of the UAE grid for at least the next 60 years.
Who is Al Hammadi
Since 2008, Al Hammadi has led ENEC to successfully deliver the UAE Peaceful Nuclear Energy Program and its flagship mega project, the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant. Al Hammadi has focused on developing Barakah — a UAE sustainable powerhouse — in line with the highest national regulations and international standards of safety, security, quality, transparency and non-proliferation. The Barakah Plant is the first multi-unit operating plant in the Arab World.
Al Hammadi is also focused on ENEC’s world class nuclear energy research and development projects, exploring opportunities for the future of nuclear science and technology in the UAE such as next generation reactors, Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and the production of green hydrogen.
Al Hammadi also sits on the Board of the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) and Abu Dhabi Ports and the Engineers Association. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society, and the Project Management Institute (USA) and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (USA), the International Council on Large Electric Systems. Al Hammadi is also a board member of Terrapower which is developing advanced, new technologies in the nuclear energy sector.
Al Hammadi gained his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and his Master of Science degree in Engineering Management, both from the Florida Institute of Technology, USA.
In 2019, Ajou University in South Korea recognised Al Hammadi’s vision for the future of electricity with an Honorary Doctorate, becoming one of only eight business leaders to receive the prestigious accolade in the history of the university.