As part of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) efforts to promote awareness of nuclear security, young professionals from 14 countries attended the first Arabic-language international school on nuclear security held in Cairo.
The 33 participants included customs and law enforcement agents, regulators, operators and academics from Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Topics covered included international and national legal frameworks for nuclear security; physical protection of nuclear and radioactive materials; computer and information security; nuclear security culture; nuclear forensics and crime scene management; and security at major public events.
The school is part of the IAEA's efforts to strengthen the global nuclear security framework, which needs highly qualified individuals to ensure that nuclear and other radioactive materials are secure whether in use, in storage or when being transported. It was specifically designed for young professionals from Arabic-speaking countries by the IAEA, and is one of a series of such schools based on a curriculum that has been run jointly by the IAEA and the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy since 2011.
Walid Ibrahim Zidan Mohamed, vice chairman of the Egyptian Nuclear and Radiological Regulatory Authority (ENRRA), said the course would promote awareness of nuclear security and enhance the security infrastructure at the regional level for both Arabic and African countries. "Due to the lack of educational resources available in their mother tongue many officers in some Arab countries have yet to familiarize themselves with the issue of nuclear security," he said.
The IAEA plans similar programmes in 2016-2018 in Indonesia for the Asia-Pacific region, in Nigeria and Morocco for English and French-speaking African countries, and is preparing a Spanish-language version of the course.