By Abdelwaheb El-Guyed
(with photos) VIENNA, Sept 24 (KUNA) -- The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) is keen on boosting cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on peaceful uses of nuclear technology, said the KISR Director General to KUNA.
Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi was speaking to KUNA, Sunday night, upon conclusion of the 56th annual session of the IAEA General Conference here. The KISR delegation had attended meetings of the signatories of the agreement of Arab States in Asia for Research, Development, and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (ARASIA).
Dr. Al-Mutairi said the discussions covered the ARASIA 2013-2014 agenda, priority projects for the 12 member states such as projects related to water and food security, as well as overall cooperation between ARASIA team and the IAEA Department of Technical Cooperation.
"Technical cooperation programs are the bases on which national capacities could be built and which guarantee transfer and development of peaceful-purpose nuclear technology to enable achievement of development goals.
"KISR cooperation with the Asia and Pacific technical cooperation team resulted in execution of several projects approved for periods up to 2013. The IAEA meanwhile appreciates KISR contributions which benefited experts from Kuwait and the region and its participation in organizing workshops and training courses in Kuwait." The KISR chairman pointed out there was agreement on the need to sustain cooperation, and Al-Mutairi stressed the institute was ready to provide all that is needed for technical cooperation projects. The department, he pointed out, praised the five projects executed in Kuwait this year at a cost of euro 1 million, and reviewed ideas for projects which could be executed in 2014-2015, seven in total. The meeting discussed mechanisms to plan such projects as of next year.
The KISR delegation and IAEA representatives also discussed research strategy in the field of peaceful nuclear technology and the need to consider the national requirements for construction of a nuclear research reactor.
With focus on improving national capabilities in concerned bodies through proper training and orientation programs, KISR also expressed readiness to cooperate with state bodies in the areas of detection of radio-active matter and accidents, smuggling of radio-active matter, and detection technology and equipment available today.
Giving more detail, Dr. Al-Mutairi said that the officials discussed the project to equip Kuwait's eight border ports with radio-active matter detectors, and that the IAEA noted the importance of the project and expressed readiness to provide whatever technical support needed. In addition, an expert from the IAEA is to visit the country in November to help plan a program to track and trace radio-active matter of doubtful or unknown origin in cooperation with the concerned Ministry of Health team.
Al-Mutairi added IAEA nuclear security experts were also invited for a visit in the first quarter of next year with the purpose of revising and giving an assessment of the State of Kuwait's nuclear security plan and of planning a program for the next three years.
He said the KISR delegation also met with officials of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, also based in Vienna, and discussed technical issues relating to the organization's detection station in Kuwait, one of 80 around the world. The organization praised the readings and the efforts at the station which is crucial to the proper function of the international network for detecting nuclear testing activity even at high-seas.
The KISR chairman noted the delegation held bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the IAEA sessions. He said he met with Tunisian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Moncef Ben Salem and discussed bolstering cooperation between the research bodies in the two countries. The discussions were mainly on nuclear research and reactors and on Tunisia's renewable energy agency and how the expertise could be of use to KISR.
"This last point is of great interest in view of KISR's long-term strategies and considerable budget allotted to this field, particularly where solar and wind power are concerned," the official stressed.
There was also a meeting with the Jordanian delegation, and talks held - in presence of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Austria and representative to international organizations based in Vienna Mohammad Al-Sallal - with head of the Jordanian Atomic Energy Commission Khalid Touqan on boosting scientific cooperation.
The Kuwaiti delegation to the 56th annual session of the IAEA General Conference was headed by Ambassador Mohammad Al-Sallal. Along with Dr. Naji Al-Mutairi, the delegation included the national liaison officer to the IAEA Dr. Nader Al-Awadhi, Dr. Anwar Al-Yahya and Advisor Tala Al-Fassam of the Foreign Ministry International Organizations Department, Health Ministry representative Samir Yagoub, Advisor Fawzi Al-Farh, and embassy officials accredited to international organizations in Vienna.(end) amq.wsa KUNA 241043 Sep 12NNNN