Abu Dhabi to Host International Conference on Nuclear Energy Industry Human Resource Development


The Government of the United Arab Emirates in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency will host an international conference on human resource development in the nuclear energy industry in Abu Dhabi next March.

The conference will be hosted through the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC), the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR), and the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR). The three organizations have been working in concert for several months on programs to develop human resource capability for the UAE’s new civil nuclear energy program.

The IAEA conference will feature international experts in the field of nuclear energy, human resource development, education, regulation, industry and knowledge transfer. The event will welcome more than 300 guests and will be held at the Media Center at the Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island from March 14-18, making it the first international conference to be held at the site.

Most prominently to date, the organizations have created the UAE Nuclear Energy Scholarships, which provides opportunities to Emirati women and men to study for Bachelor’s Degrees and Master’s Degrees in various engineering fields at colleges and universities in the UAE, the United States, France, Korea, and the United Kingdom. Human resource development is a key challenge for the worldwide nuclear energy industry as the nuclear energy industry experiences a rebirth.

The IAEA reports that more than 50 countries have recently approached the organization expressing interest in launching nuclear energy programs. Another 30 countries are expanding their existing programs or considering expanding them. These developments come at a time when there is a need to replace the generation of workers that commissioned the power plants now in operation.

Mr. Yury Sokolov, the IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Energy, noted that human resource development is among the top priorities for those countries that are planning the introduction of nuclear power programs. He observed that the UAE is a very appropriate venue for this conference as the global nuclear power community, as well as those countries that are currently considering nuclear power programs, will have the opportunity to learn about the UAE government's integrated approach for human resource development among ENEC, FANR and Khalifa University.

"The UAE’s hosting of this important conference is an indication of the country’s commitment in its nuclear power program to openness and transparency, which the IAEA considers vitally important," Mr. Sokolov said in a prepared statement.

"We are looking forward to this conference with great anticipation," said Ambassador Hamad Al Kaabi, the UAE Permanent Representative to the IAEA. "Human resource development is a key issue for the UAE as we begin our program and look to the future. We are eager to share with the global nuclear energy community our plans, and also want to learn from others who are leading the thinking in this area."