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First School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety for IAEA Member States from the Caribbean Takes Place at IAEA Headquarters

Participants listening to a presentation during the School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety. (Photo: J. Krickl/IAEA)

The first School for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety for IAEA Member States from the Caribbean has taken place from 16-27 January 2017 in Vienna, Austria. The School was supported by the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme, under the regional project RLA/9/082 ‘Establishing and Strengthening Sustainable National Regulatory Infrastructures for the Control of Radiation Sources’. The IAEA’s Schools for Drafting Regulations on Radiation Safety are designed to enable participants to gain and exchange experience and knowledge in drafting and revising regulations on radiation safety with the help of international and IAEA experts.

The School brought together fourteen participants from six IAEA Member States in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as experts from Brazil, Cuba and Greece. Participants received support and assistance to draft national regulations on radiation safety in accordance with IAEA safety requirements, while taking into account national legislation and priority needs. The School targeted both Member States in which legislation addressing radiation safety is already in place and countries that are in the process of establishing such legislation but have not yet developed comprehensive radiation safety regulations. Regular review and feedback sessions allowed participants to share their experiences and to seek the advice of the experts present.

The meeting offered valuable insights for both the participating countries and the IAEA: for the former, to meet and get to know each other and the status of their respective regulatory framework and infrastructure; for the latter, to update existing information on these topics for the Caribbean region. The meeting results will be used to further improve IAEA technical cooperation programme support in the following areas: national legal and regulatory framework, implementation of regulations, establishment of regulatory bodies and their regulatory activities.

Participants presenting their certificates at the end of the school. (Photo: J. Krickl/IAEA)

Ms Sandra Veronica Bart, a Legal Officer from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, also attended the meeting. Ms Bart provided valuable insights into possible areas of cooperation between CARICOM and the IAEA in the fields of nuclear radiation safety and nuclear technology, in order to assist development and capacity building in the Caribbean region.

By closure of the School, all country participants had either reviewed their own draft regulation on radiation safety and safety of radioactive waste management or drafted a new one ready for national review and approval. At the same time, a number of participating countries began the review of existing national nuclear law needed as a legal basis for future regulations. All drafts resulting from the School are consistent and coherent with the IAEA Safety Standards.

Although the two-week long meeting took place in cold and snowy Vienna, the Caribbean participants were able to bring joy and sunshine to the School for Drafting Regulations, thus enabling a fruitful exchange of knowledge and experience. As Anthony S. Headley, Director of the Environmental Protection Department of the Ministry of Environment and Drainage in Barbados concluded at the end of the meeting: “I wish to express gratitude to the organizers of the School and the technical mentors who shared their knowledge and experience with us, the participants. To my new friends from the region, I enjoyed the frank and fruitful exchanges, the laughter and mutual dislike of the sub-zero temperatures. Your attitude made the last two weeks an enjoyable learning experience. I wish you success in your future endeavours and hope this is not the last time our paths cross. Now the work begins!”