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Strengthening Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators

Denis Flory and Hafedh Belmabrouk

Messrs. Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General for the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (left), and Hafedh Belmabrouk, ANNuR Chairperson, at the signing ceremony of the "Practical Arrangements" on 13 May 2014. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

The Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators (ANNuR) gathers Member States from the Arab region who use nuclear technology in a variety of ways. While some Arab countries have a nuclear power programme or are interested in developing their nuclear energy capacity, most focus their uses on other nuclear applications (e.g. medical, industrial, research and agricultural applications). Nuclear safety and security capabilities being sometimes limited in the region, there has been a clear need for consolidation of national infrastructures and capacity building at the institutional, organizational and technical levels; especially with regard to the development of national legislative and regulatory frameworks.

As the secretariat for several multinational regulatory networks, the IAEA facilitates sharing knowledge, best practices and common experiences as well as advice among international regulators facing similar problems. Created in 2010, ANNuR is the most recent IAEA nuclear regulatory network, gathering 22 member countries, with the purpose of enhancing, strengthening and harmonizing the regulatory infrastructure among Arab countries as well as exchanging regulatory knowledge and experiences with other international and regional networks that comprises the IAEA Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN). The ANNuR network will play a key role in sharing and maintaining nuclear safety and security knowledge within the international nuclear community.

To further this endeavour, on 13 May 2014, during the International Conference on Human Resource Development for Nuclear Power Programmes: Building and Sustaining Capacity, Mr. Denis Flory, IAEA Deputy Director General for the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, and Mr. Hafedh Belmabrouk, ANNuR Chairperson signed a "Practical Arrangements" agreement to further strengthen IAEA's support, capacity building and cooperation with the ANNuR network. This agreement is designed to better facilitate current and future education, training as well as the advisory mission needs of Arab regulatory bodies in the production and sustainability of relevant regulations and guidelines. Mr. Abdelmajid Mahjoub, Director General of the Arab Atomic Energy Agency (AAEA), also attended the signing. The AAEA is a sub organization of the Arab league and is structured similarly to that of the IAEA and also shares the same principles and objectives; it comprises a total of 15 Arab states.

Background

Launched in March 2010, the Arab Network of Nuclear Regulators (ANNuR) focuses on enhancing, strengthening and harmonizing the radiation protection, nuclear safety and security regulatory infrastructure and framework among the ANNuR's Members. As a part of the Global Nuclear Safety and Security Network (GNSSN), ANNuR's objective - to be carried out partially through the use of an IAEA internet portal within the GNSSN platform, is to facilitate regional cooperation, with a focus on capacity building and infrastructure development as well as exchange regulatory experiences and practices among the nuclear regulatory bodies in the region. ANNuR also serves as a forum for an exchange of ideas to find innovative approaches on issues of common interest.

Presently the ANNuR knowledge network comprises eight thematic working groups, gathering experts working together on issues of common interest, sharing knowledge, and developing solutions to address common problems and working towards filling common gaps.

ANNuR Member States are Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


- By Ruth Morgart, IAEA Department of Nuclear Safety and Security

(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA)