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Back to School: IAEA hosts the Third Session of the School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety for African Countries


Participants of the third session of the School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety for African Member States pose for a group photo at the end of the School's first week on 24 January. (Photo: O. Yusuf/IAEA)

From 21 January to 1 February, the IAEA’s Vienna headquarters was both the campus and the classroom for the School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety, a series of workshops designed to help ensure compatibility between national regulations and IAEA safety standards. The third such session organized for regulatory bodies in the Africa is part of a regional IAEA technical cooperation (TC) project. It focused on assisting national experts as they revised and updated their national regulatory frameworks to align with the International Basic Safety Standards for Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources. Moreover, for the first time, this School will be followed by the School for Drafting Nuclear Security Regulations, which will be held from 4 to 7 February.

Without a strong regulatory framework, the use of radiation sources cannot be considered safe or secure. The effectiveness of this framework, in turn, relies on an independent regulatory body and on national laws for radiation safety. The IAEA has published a suite of comprehensive, internationally-accepted standards which ensure that patients, workers and the public are adequately protected from the dangers of ionizing radiation. The IAEA facilitates the implementation of these standards through network- and capacity-building initiatives, such as the Schools for Drafting Regulations.

Organized in each TC region and designed according to Member State needs, the Schools for Drafting Regulations are capacity building events whose interdisciplinary approach facilitates the development of national regulations in line with international standards and best practices.

Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director of the Technical Cooperation Division for Africa, delivers a certificate to an attendee on the closing day of the third session of the School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Therapy. (Photo: O. Yusuf) 

“We have observed that there are still a number of gaps in the Nigeria Basic Ionizing Radiation Regulations (NiBIRR). The School of Drafting Regulations has provided a platform to share experiences and to crossbreed ideas with representatives from other African countries,” said Jamil Salau, Deputy Legal Manager of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority.

Following his attendance at the School, Boster Dearson Siwila, Executive Director of the Radiation Protection Authority of Zambia, said: “We will call a meeting of interested parties to share the justification for new regulations to enhance radiation safety for the public, workers and the environment. Finally, we will submit the draft regulations to the Ministry of Justice for further processing of the bill into law.”

The IAEA Schools for Drafting Regulations are open to senior regulators who are already experienced in implementing national regulations for radiation safety. By running these schools at periodic intervals for different Member States, the IAEA aims to ensure that the capacity of national regulators to develop and update national regulations remains sustainable, regardless of when or how often those regulations evolve.

The School was attended by 11 participants from six countries: Lesotho, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia.

RAF9085, ‘Improving the Regulatory Framework for the Control of Radiation Sources in Member States’

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