The UAE announced a contribution of $1 million towards the expansion and enhancement of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Safeguards Analytical Laboratory (SAL) and the hosting in October 2013 of an international conferencon strategies and techniques for maintaining continuous control of radioactive sources throughout their life cycle.
The announcement was made by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.
Participating with leaders of over 50 nations in the summit, General Sheikh Mohammed in a statement distributed to the delegates reiterated that threats related to nuclear security, including the possibility of nuclear terrorism, cannot be seen as specific to any single country, but must be understood as a common threat to all nations of the world.
General Sheikh Mohammed called for international cooperation to help put in place the global infrastructure and human capacity needed to ensure the highest standards of nuclear security in all countries. He stressed the important and pivotal role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in promoting nuclear security.
During the summit meetings, General Sheikh Mohammed also announced two initiatives via which the UAE would support the objectives of the summit to respond to the threat of nuclear terrorism, to enhanced protection of nuclear materials and facilities and to prevent illegal trafficking of nuclear materials.
As part of the first of these initiatives, the UAE will join with other nations in contributing to the expansion and enhancement of the IAEA’s Safeguards Analytical Laboratory. The UAE contribution of a million US dollars will go towards the expansion and upgrading of existing laboratories that, among other things, allow the Agency to determine the origin of nuclear materials and to detect undeclared and illegal nuclear installations.
As part of a second initiative, the UAE announced that it would host an international conference on behalf of the IAEA focused on strategies and techniques for maintaining continuous control of radioactive sources throughout their life cycle. The conference will be hosted in the UAE from October 27-31, 2013.
Although radioactive sources, which include materials used in medical equipment and in various industrial and agricultural applications are not capable of being used in an atomic weapon, the topic of maintaining adequate security over these sources has grown in recent years out of a recognition that radioactive sources could be utilized in so-called “dirty bombs”, which do not utilize nuclear fission, but can result in contamination of areas near detonation.
The UAE’s participation in the Nuclear Security Summit underlined the nation’s growing influence and credibility in the global discussion of nuclear-related issues such as security, safety and non-proliferation.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan was also present at the summit.