Jordan’s National Centre for Nuclear & Radiological Security (NCNRS) has become an IAEA collaborating centre for capacity building in nuclear security detection and response. The main areas of engagement will focus on the development of training materials, hosting workshops and technical visits, and cooperation in coordinated research activities.

Lydie Evrard, IAEA Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety & Security said, at the signing ceremony in Vienna, that the designation of NCNRS as an IAEA collaborating centre “builds on its well-recognised expertise and state-of-the-art facilities in nuclear security detection and response capacity building”. Under the agreement, NCNRS will further engage with the IAEA to contribute to supporting countries to enhance their detection and response capabilities for nuclear security.

The four-year agreement was signed on the sidelines of the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security: Shaping the Future and makes NCNRS the first such centre in the Middle East. This brings the number of collaborating centres in the field of nuclear security worldwide to ten.

Zeyad Alsaaydeh, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NCNRS, which is part of Jordan’s Energy & Minerals Regulatory Commission, said: “Jordan has been constantly working to strengthen the national nuclear security architecture to combat nuclear smuggling and illicit trafficking of nuclear and other radioactive material, and to respond to nuclear security events.”

He added: “This agreement comes at a time when global cooperation in the radiological and nuclear sector is essential. NCNRS has strengthened its capabilities and is equipped with the latest technologies, enabling its specialised and qualified technical personnel to support all activities agreed upon.”

Rana Abida, Chargé d’affaires at the Permanent Mission of Jordan in Vienna said the designation of NCNRS as collaborating centre “will support the IAEA’s activities and solidify the centre’s goals of enhancing coordination between national agencies to secure nuclear and radioactive material, and counter illicit trafficking, and we hope this will benefit nuclear security in the region as well”.

The long collaboration between NCNRS and IAEA over the years has resulted in the organisation of several training courses, as well as in NCNRS participation in coordinated research projects, such as the “Facilitation of Safe and Secure Trade Using Nuclear Detection Technology – Detection of RN and Other Contraband”, and “Advancing Maintenance, Repair, and Calibration of Radiation Detection Equipment”. In addition, NCNRS participates in the International Network of Front Line Officers and Organisations for Nuclear Security Detection and the International Network for Nuclear Security Training & Support Centres. NCNRS facilities also include a radiation detection training facility, equipped with radiation portal monitors and hand-held detectors.

An IAEA Collaborating Centre is a national institution, department or laboratory, which focuses on research, development and training and which has been designated by the IAEA to support the IAEA’s programmatic activities by implementing an agreed work plan. The designation of such a Centre is done through an IAEA Collaborating Centre Agreement. This legally binding document, signed by both parties, specifies the undertakings of the parties and the duration of designation as well as the objectives, activities and expected results and outcomes.