Croatia: 20 years of INIS membership
The International Nuclear Information System (INIS) is the world’s leading information system on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The Republic of Croatia joined the IAEA in 1993 and became an INIS member in September 1994. The Croatian INIS Centre is located in one of the regulatory bodies in charge of nuclear safety. It was first a part of the Ministry of Economy, Department for Nuclear Safety. In 2005, it moved to the State Office for Nuclear Safety and since 2011, has belonged to the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety.
The Croatian INIS Centre is rather small because, presently, it has only two staff – the INIS Liaison Officer and the Alternate INIS Liaison Officer. It deals with the organization, collection and preparation of inputs, as well as the use of INIS output products. In the beginning, inputs were prepared by outside users. During that time Croatia had one National ILO (in the Ministry of Economy) to coordinate all INIS work. Later, inputs were prepared by the Alternate ILO (outside of the Ministry of Economy) through an on-line platform. In 2005, Croatia established a new regulatory body, the State Office for Nuclear Safety, where INIS was located until 2010. In 2011, Croatia merged the two regulatory bodies, creating the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety. The INIS Centre has been there ever since. Inputs are now prepared by the ILO. At the end of 2014, Croatia appointed a new ILO; however, she is not quite so new, as she was also the ILO from 2005–2010.
Because of the frequent changes in ILO, due to the constant move of employees in the state administration body in charge of nuclear safety, the INIS Centre work flow was sometimes interrupted.
It also affected the participation of ILOs in INIS trainings; however, INIS promotion and input never stopped. Training was mainly attended for general INIS matters and once for inputting. The ILO regularly attends the bi-annual INIS Consultative Meetings.
Several experts and university teachers have been trained to search the INIS database and formulate inputs for INIS.
The INIS CD-ROMs were available in the INIS Centre and in the National University Library until 2010. After opening free access to the INIS database, the CD-ROMs were discontinued.
In its first year of INIS membership (1995), Croatia submitted 8 inputs on worksheets using the INIS Input Training Kit. The following year, 1996, Croatia entered 63 inputs using FIBRE. Since then, the number of Croatian inputs has grown, with the average input around 100. This number is used as a target for the amount of input each year.
The chart below shows the number of inputs by Croatia since 2000, demonstrating that the input remains constant at around 100. The visible deviation in input in 2001 and 2009 was because of bi-annual or tri-annual conferences held in Croatia. Our Center enters mostly NCL, as Croatia is a non-nuclear country. NCL is mainly produced during these conferences/meetings so the amount of input submitted by the Croatian INIS Centre depends on events related to nuclear and radiological safety.
Croatia, a member of INIS for 20 years, is doing its best to increase the usage of and input to the INIS database.
The ILO and Alternate ILO work hard to promote INIS usage, although they do not work with INIS on a daily basis. They use all available resources to promote INIS during conferences, seminars and meetings throughout Croatia. Banners and small posters are prepared by the ILO and INIS promotional materials, such as INIS brochures and bookmarks, are also distributed.
A direct link to the IAEA website and to the INIS Collection Search has been placed on the main Web page of the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety (www.dzrns.hr), which is where the INIS Centre is located. Although this seems like a simple task, there are restrictions on using regulatory Web pages for international purposes.
Promotion is primarily related to INIS database usage, since the inputting is done by the ILO. The main users of INIS in Croatia are students, university teachers, scientific experts and companies involved in this particular scientific field.
ILOs make the most of opportunities to promote INIS during conferences sponsored by the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety. Croatia, as a small, non‑nuclear country with a small INIS Centre, has given its best efforts over the last 20 years, with occasional ups and downs. Usage statistics of the INIS database depend on projects that are carried out in Croatia, the activities of the scientific community, events in the region and the world, and even political developments in the context of this specific topic. As a new member of the European Union, we hope there will be significant moves forward in the future.
The main problem Croatia is facing is time – more time to spend on INIS matters. But with the age of computers, free on-line access, free portals, and e-modules, Croatia hopes to improve — improve usage of the INIS database and the amount of Croatian literature available. But this also depends on the work of other stakeholders.
We hope the next 20 years will be significantly better for the Croatian INIS Center.