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Building on success: Developing projects to expand ‘Cradle-To-Grave’ control of radioactive sources


Practically all countries in the world use radioactive sources. The rays they emit can be used for many beneficial purposes, in medicine, industry and agriculture. But if sources are not controlled properly, they pose a threat to human health and the environment. The IAEA is helping countries to develop effective, safe and secure control systems for their radioactive sources - from the cradle to the grave. 'Cradle-to-grave' refers to the control of radioactive sources from distribution to installation, use, disuse, and through to disposal.

From 1 to 5 December 2014, the IAEA held a workshop at its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, to develop a model cradle-to-grave project. The workshop was organized within the framework of the IAEA's interregional technical cooperation (TC) project INT/9/176, 'Strengthening Cradle-to-Grave Control of Radioactive Sources in the Mediterranean Region', and aimed to support the preparation and development of tailor-made concrete project proposals.

Eleven participants from 10 Member States from the Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Latin America regions, along with international experts, strategic partners and IAEA staff, participated in the week-long event. They worked together to identify the key elements and logic of a model TC project to provide support to Member States in establishing, strengthening and sustaining cradle-to-grave control of radioactive sources.

The model design was subsequently used to prepare two project proposals for the 2016-2017 technical cooperation programme: one for the Great Caribbean region, and another that would build on the achievements of the current interregional project and that would be open to all IAEA Member States, focusing on the introduction of advanced methods and techniques of cradle-to-grave control.

The proposed regional project for the Great Caribbean region will target countries within the region that are new to the TC programme or have basic cradle-to-grave needs.

The current interregional cradle-to-grave project has been instrumental in the development of methodologies and tools, ranging from tools to track and control radioactive sources and safety assessment methodologies, to tools to condition sources or to facilitate the disposal of radioactive sources. The proposed new interregional project will help participating Member States as they introduce policies and develop capabilities to apply the cradle-to-grave approach to the management of radioactive sources, and will further develop and pilot IAEA-designed tools and methodologies in participating countries.

Much of the recent workshop was dedicated to providing training in project design, using the Logical Framework Approach and taking into account the TC programme's quality criteria. The training was participatory - Member States had to identify their needs and priorities, and to pin down the results that the projects would be expected to achieve. Detailed work plans for each project were also developed, and both projects were also encouraged to include a communication outreach plan to strengthen cross-country learning, foster cooperation among Member States and ensure the visibility of the projects.

At the end of the week, the Permanent Missions were invited to an information session. Keynote speakers from the European Commission, the USA and Spain - all strategic partners of the ongoing project - described their cooperation with the TC programme in general and specifically in the framework of the project. A film 'From the Cradle to the Grave: Paving the Way for the Control of Radioactive Sources', was screened. The film was produced within the framework of the current interregional project, and has footage of training events from various locations.

This was followed by a presentation of the two project proposals for the TC programme 2016-2017 by Mr. Charles Grant of Jamaica and Mr Abderrahim Bouih of Morocco, giving the audience a chance to provide feedback on the new proposals.  

  Project INT9/1/76 is carried out with funding
by the European Union and the IAEA..

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