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Posted On: 21 January 2009 08:19 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar mulls building N-research reactor

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Qatar is considering building a nuclear research reactor for peaceful uses, according to an expert in the field. Preparations are under way for availing of the peaceful uses of the nuclear technology, said Dr Athab Taher al-Kinani, an expert at radiation protection at the Ministry of Environment. He said that Qatar had a long-term plan for availing of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. “Qatar is approaching some countries to own a research reactor. This is going on under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Building nuclear stations for peaceful applications requires nuclear reactor. As we know pursuing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes is now a policy adopted by all Gulf states since the GCC summit held in 2006,” Dr al-Kinani told Gulf Times yesterday on the sidelines of a three-day workshop on the international safety standards for radiation protection. However, he added that there was no date given for finalising such a step. “This is a political issue and hence requires a political decision. It is not only a scientific decision. We hope that Qatar can make progress in availing of the peaceful uses of the nuclear energy. We have recently seen the UAE signing a nuclear deal with the US to develop its nuclear energy sector,” he said. Sheikha Amal bint Thamir al-Thani, the head of the technical communication section at the Nuclear energy department, said that Qatar sought to develop an effective monitoring system for radiation to ensure safety. “It is not a secret that Qatar as well as several countries in the region seek to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in all fields. But there is a need to develop a qualified infrastructure for protection before embarking on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy,” she said. Sheikha Amal also said the Nuclear Energy and Radiation Protection Department at the Ministry of Environment sought to enhance its co-operation with the IAEA to meet the requirements of the civilian uses of nuclear energy. “We have completed phase one of the early warning system for detecting any radiation leakage. Work on the second phase is currently under way. We have also finished in co-operation with the interior ministry the installation of radiation detectors on our borders,” she added. The workshop, which was opened by Sheikha Amal, was held in co-operation with the IAEA at the Doha Gloria hotel. Earlier, Minister of Environment HE Abdullah bin Mubarak al-Midhadhi opened another workshop on the “Principles of Hazardous Waste Management” where he announced that the Mesaieed waste management plant would start operation next month. The workshop was held at the Ministry of Environment in co-operation with the US embassy in Doha. In his opening remarks, the US Ambassador to Qatar, Joseph LeBaron, hailed Qatar’s environmental commitments as “strong”. “Qatar has shown strong environment leadership, both through its sponsorship of multilateral conferences, such as the Montreal Protocol (Ozone) conference in November and the conference on the convention on international trade in endangered species next year and the government’s efforts build awareness of environmental care locally,” LeBaron said. Representatives of Qatar Petroleum, Ras Lafan Industrial City, Mesaieed Industrial City, and the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning are among the participants in the workshop.