Gulf states initiate debate on uses of nuclear technology


Atomic energy agencies from 20 countries, including Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt and others in addition to the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will participate in the three-day gathering.

“The leadership of Saudi Arabia is giving high importance to this symposium in which about 50 keynote speakers from various parts of the world will present papers and researches on the topic,” said Mohammed Subian Al-Johani, secretary of the supreme executive committee for organizing the event.

The committee is under the direct supervision of Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari and is chaired by KAU Rector Osama Al-Tayib.

Al-Johani, who is the chairman of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and the Faculty of Engineering at KAU, said preparations were complete for the symposium, the first of its kind in the region. He said the symposium was in response to a resolution by the 27th GCC summit held in December 2006. The resolution called for the pursuit of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and the formulation of a joint GCC strategy in this regard.

Al-Johani lauded the vigorous efforts being made by Al-Tayib, the chairman of the supreme executive committee, in making consummate arrangements for hosting the symposium.

The program of the symposium had been designed to ensure various objectives, said Al-Johani. They included drawing the attention of the scientific community in the GCC countries to the potential of nuclear science and technology and its relations to energy, health, agriculture and industry. The symposium hopes to attract the attention of international nuclear organizations and nuclear technology vendors to the potential market in the GCC countries.

Other aims of the symposium are to make available to local authorities and decision-makers vital strategic and technical information needed for the introduction of a peaceful nuclear program in the GCC countries, initiate interactive communication between international nuclear communities and the local academia and authorities for future collaboration, and enhance public awareness of benefits of nuclear technology.

Al-Johani said the themes of the symposium would cover such topics as the strategic planning for introducing nuclear technology in GCC countries, nuclear power, nuclear research and reactors, radiation protection and radioisotopes applications.

He said related exhibitions and seminars would run concurrently with the symposium that will be held at the Ceremonial Hall and Conference Center at the KAU.

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