A ceremony at the Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was held Feb. 20 to commemorate the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Khalifa University, the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), and Sandia National Laboratories to jointly operate the Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII).
Located in Abu Dhabi, GNEII will be a Khalifa University institute housing a regional education program offering both classroom instruction and hands-on experience in topics related to nuclear energy safety, security, safeguards and nonproliferation.
Dr. Raymond Juzaitis, who heads TEES Nuclear Engineering Division and the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University, signed the MOU on behalf of TEES. High-ranking officials from the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. embassy in Abu Dhabi, and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) were also in attendance.
The MOU-signing ceremony also marked the official beginning of GNEII’s initial pilot course, a 12-week educational program focused on nuclear power safety, safeguards, and security. Sponsored by the U.S. state department and NNSA, the course is being developed by the TEES Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute and Sandia National Laboratories, each of whom will provide course materials and instructors for GNEII’s pilot operation.
GNEII aims to promote international interests in developing a nuclear energy security and safety culture, increase collaboration between the nuclear energy security and safety communities, and help to enhance global standards for nuclear energy technology in the Middle East. The institute was recognized by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy as Number 5 on a list of the “Top 17 Science and Technology Activities” in terms of “science and technology engagement with the Muslim world” for the period of June 4, 2009, through June 4, 2010.
TEES is an engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System. (News story originally published at http://tees.tamu.edu)