New IAEA Collaborating Centre in UAE to offer training for Nuclear Power Infrastructure Development

ABU DHABI, 31st October, 2017 (WAM) -- Countries looking to introduce nuclear power will be the beneficiaries of a cooperation agreement signed on Monday by the UAE and the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA. The UAE, which is in the process of commissioning its first nuclear power plant, has undertaken to share its experience in nuclear power infrastructure development with experts from other embarking IAEA Member States.

The signing ceremony, held on the margins of the International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century in Abu Dhabi, designated the Khalifa University of Science and Technology as an IAEA Collaborating Centre.

The agreement marks the beginning of a four-year period of close cooperation between the university and the IAEA on implementing activities in the field of nuclear power infrastructure and human resource development. In particular, Khalifa University will support IAEA activities on enhancing Member States’ capabilities in building and assessing the infrastructure required for a nuclear power programme, as well as developing critical competences required for infrastructure development.

"The cooperation will enable professionals from embarking countries to benefit from the know-how which the UAE has developed in building its infrastructure, licensing and constructing its first nuclear power plant in line with the IAEA Milestones approach," said Mikhail Chudakov, IAEA Deputy Director-General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Energy, who signed the agreement on behalf of the IAEA.

Signing the agreement for Khalifa University, its Interim President Tod A. Laursen said, "We are honoured by the IAEA designation as an IAEA Collaborating Centre. Since I signed our first Practical Arrangement with the IAEA in 2010, we have engaged with the IAEA on human resource development through our Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute, GNEII, programme and by hosting the joint UAE-IAEA Nuclear Energy Management Schools. We look forward to enhancing our offerings in this area, both within the UAE and to support other IAEA Member States."

Under the agreement, the University, in collaboration with the IAEA, will develop and implement specific courses, including modules for the GNEII programme, to train professionals in nuclear safety, security, safeguards, stakeholder involvement, legal and regulatory framework and other areas. A fellowship programme, including mentoring, will help fellows gain experience in specific areas of interest in embarking countries. In addition, the University will provide experts to support review missions, training courses and technical meetings organised by the IAEA.

WAM/Nour Salman/Tariq alfaham