ANS Nuclear Security International Panel focuses on the Middle East and North Africa

The American Nuclear Society’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Technical Group (NNTG) will host a distinguished two-part panel session on the Middle East as part of its embedded topical at the 2013 ANS Winter Meeting and Nuclear Technology Expo in our nation’s capitol.

Nuclear Energy Development in the Middle East and North Africa: Strategies for Security, Safeguards and Non-Proliferation

Thursday, November 14
1–4 pm
Embassy Ballroom, Omni Shoreham Hotel
Washington DC

In order meet its fast growing domestic energy needs, the United Arab Emirates has positioned itself to become the first Arab country (by the end of the decade) to deliver electricity to its national grid by means of nuclear power. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also plans to construct 16 nuclear power reactors over the next 20 years. Other countries in the Middle East including the State of Bahrain, the Sultanate of Oman, the State of Qatar, the State of Kuwait, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen have publicly expressed interest in pursuing nuclear technology for generating electricity and water desalination purposes.

This nuclear renaissance in the Middle East and North Africa is coinciding with sweeping reforms and changes in the political topology of the region. This two-part panel is aimed at exploring the political, technical, and market challenges to the development of nuclear power in the context of non-proliferation, safeguards, and security.

The panel includes high-level representatives from government, industry, academia, and the region, including:

Abdelmajid Mahjoub
Director General
Arab Atomic Energy Agency

Khammer Mrabit
Director of the Office of Nuclear Security
International Atomic Energy Agency

Ayman Hawari
Senior Scientific Adviser
Jordan Atomic Energy Commission
Professor of Nuclear Engineering
North Carolina State University

Amir H. Mohagheghi
Program Manager for Middle East and South Asia
Sandia National Laboratories

Osama Al Shehhi
Nuclear Security Manager
UAE Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation

Maryam Qasem  
Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation

Ambassador Thomas Graham, Jr.
Executive Chairman of the Board
Lightbridge Corporation

nntg mideast panelists

Top: Abdelmajib Mahjoub, Khammer Mrabit, Ayman Hawari;
Bottom: Amir H. Mohagheghi, Maryam Qasem, Thomas Graham, Jr.



The panel was organized and is being chaired by Rian Bahran, a postdoctoral research associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a follow-up to a similar panel that was organized a year ago at the ANS Winter Meeting in San Diego. Rian is originally from the Middle East and believes that it is important to bring these issues to the technical community of the American Nuclear Society:

“Nuclear non-proliferation, security, and safeguards challenges in the Arab world require technical/geopolitical/socioeconomic strategies and solutions that in many instances are country-specific. We need the best minds in the field to understand the associated multidisciplinary challenges associated with these topics. An open panel discussion is a format that lends itself well to dissecting these issues with the aid of questions and comments from a uniquely diverse audience of nuclear experts.”

Rian is also the organizer of another international panel on nuclear security education at the ANS Winter Meeting scheduled for Thursday morning (also part of the embedded NNTG Topical). The global resurgence in nuclear engineering education has been accompanied by a widespread increase of nuclear security educational programs and partnerships. The Thursday morning panel will focus on the International Nuclear Security Network (INSN), an international program that aims to enhance global nuclear security by developing, sharing, and promoting excellence in nuclear security education.



The session will highlight the successes of the international nuclear security education network and explore best practices. Panelists include representatives from the UAE, Morocco, United Kingdom, United States, and the IAEA. The session will be chaired by Jason Harris, a professor at Idaho State University and the current chair of INSN.

For both panels, an ANS social media representative will be in attendance to relay audience and panel questions and responses via the ANS organizational Twitter handle @ans_org.

twitter ansmeeting 201x201

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