Alexer Solodov, Matthew Sternat, Adam Williams, David Boyle, Amir Mohagheghi, Philip Beeley, Robert Finch, “Expanding into Research Opportunities: Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII) in Year 4”, INMM 56th Annual Meeting, Indian Wells, California, 12-16 July 2015.
Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research is partnering with United Arab Emirates and United States nuclear stakeholders to develop and operate a regionally located institute that couples nuclear infrastructure development and regional intellectual capacity building with education in nuclear energy safety, safeguards, and security (3S) education. Since its inception in 2011, the Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute’s (GNEII) mission has been to develop a responsible nuclear energy culture and institutionalize key 3S and nonproliferation norms in the future decision-makers of the Gulfregion nuclear power programs through professional development and education. Khalifa University’s implementation is endorsed by the key UAE nuclear stakeholders (the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation [ENEC], Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation [FANR] and Critical Infrastructure and Coastal Protection Authority [CICPA]). U.S. implementers, Sandia National Laboratories and Texas A&M University’s Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI), help develop curricula and provide course instructors. They are supported by two U.S. sponsors, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration Office of Nonproliferation and International Security and the U.S. Department of State’s Partnership for Nuclear Security. Together these organizations make up a strategic partnership that has produced 64 graduates over four years and resulted in high quality education and research opportunities for the Gulf region in nuclear energy infrastructure development and 3S. GNEII’s education opportunities move beyond narrow, topical training to provide a more comprehensive understanding of (and novel curriculum for) the interacting technical, operational and political aspects of responsible nuclear energy programs. Similarly, GNEII research opportunities explore such topics as radiation background measurements in urban environments, Monte Carlo detector modeling, port security, integrated 3S methodologies, nuclear infrastructure development, and Gulf/Middle East regional nuclear interactions. The institute’s growing research efforts are represented by Fundamentals Course capstone projects, the culminating research papers on GNEII-relevant topics coordinated with local, regional and international stakeholders, and by a professional visiting research scholar. As GNEII grows in size and prestige, its aim is to become a leading institute through which GCC and Middle East voices can be introduced into global nuclear discourse and become a fully indigenous, self-supporting regional institute by 2017. (SAND2015- 0468A)