Workshop on nuclear security opens at KACST

Updated 24 May 2012

Workshop on nuclear security opens at KACST

RIYADH: A technical workshop on nuclear security for decision makers at government departments was opened yesterday at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) in Riyadh under the patronage of Crown Prince and Interior Minister Naif.
The workshop is being organized by the Ministry of Interior in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Chief of Research at KACST Prince Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al-Saud addressed the forum and stressed the role of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE) in the area of nuclear security.
He said the role of KACST was complementary to that of KACARE and expressed hope the workshop would boost nuclear safety awareness. For his part, Brig. Muhammad Al-Muhwas dealt with the Kingdom’s efforts on nuclear and radioactive security and its keen stance against the spread of nuclear weapons, based on the country’s peaceful policy resting on its regional and international role plus geographical position.
Al-Muhwas also stressed the Kingdom’s continued call for making the Middle East region free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
The Kingdom will spare no efforts to fight terrorism in all its forms and will, effectively, contribute to the international community to this end, he said.
Al-Muhwas also noted the Kingdom’s commitments to all international conventions and decisions, including the UN Security Council, on nuclear safety and fighting of terrorism.
He called for the strengthening of nuclear security at local, regional and international levels together with intensification of efforts for coordination between security, regulatory and political bodies so as to boost nuclear safety infrastructure in the country.
Meanwhile, the head of security office at IAEA stressed the need for improvement of the security of nuclear and radioactive materials worldwide.
Later, the workshop explored a series of scientific papers that were centered on the activities of nuclear security at the IAEA.


Saudi Arabia isolates neighborhoods in Jeddah governorate to fight coronavirus

Updated 05 April 2020

Saudi Arabia isolates neighborhoods in Jeddah governorate to fight coronavirus

  • Entrance to and exit from these seven neighborhoods in the Jeddah governorate is forbidden
  • Several national entities partner to launch COVID-19 research grant

JEDDAH: The Saudi Interior Ministry imposed a 24-hour curfew on seven neighborhoods in Jeddah governorate on Saturday as an additional measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

The neighborhoods are: Kilo 14 South, Kilo 14 North, Al-Mahjar, Ghulail, Al-Qurayyat, Kilo 13, and Petromin. Entry and exit to these areas are forbidden. Residents can only leave their homes for health care and food needs during the period from 6:00 am to 3:00pm.

Meanwhile, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) has announced an open application period for its new research grant program to support the Kingdom’s scientific efforts during the coronavirus crisis.

The fast-track program to support research into the coronavirus is aimed at providing support to institutions to develop detection and monitoring mechanisms in an accurate, fast and economical manner.

Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Malik, executive director for the Life Science and Environment Research Institute at KACST, told a press conference on Saturday that the grant would provide direct financial support to scientists in research centers and universities around the country.

“The program will focus on developing diagnostic and serological tests for the virus and support epidemiological surveys, artificial intelligence systems and active genetic surveillance for the new virus,” Al-Malik said.

“KACST will also allow the grant awardees to use its laboratories around the country whenever they need it,” he said.

Al-Malik is inviting researchers interested in COVID-19-related work to submit their proposals at the portal ( between April 4 to 20. Winners will be announced ten days after the deadline.

The initiative was launched in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Saudi Health Council and the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Health Ministry has announced 140 new COVID-19 cases, two of which are related to travel, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 2,179 with 1,730 of them still active cases.

While the number of recoveries increased to 420, four new deaths were announced, three of whom were non-Saudis, increasing total deaths to 29.

During the department’s daily conference, Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly clarified that the bodies of those who died of COVID-19 were bathed and shrouded according to Islamic tradition by trained health practitioners or under the ministry’s supervision to ensure everybody’s safety.

“Their dignity is maintained from the moment they pass away until burial . . . after completing all these procedures (bathing and shrouding) under our supervision, the body no longer carries the infection.”

The ministry advises people to get their information from official sources and has dedicated a web page for updates about disease numbers in the Kingdom (