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IAEA and the Netherlands Work to Strengthen Radiation Safety in Curaçao


Curaçao is an island in the Lesser Antilles and is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. (Photo: D. Davidson)

IAEA experts have conducted a fact-finding mission to Curaçao to better understand the radiation safety-related needs of the Caribbean island. The four-day mission was the first in a series of support activities planned for 2019—including equipment procurements, training courses and expert guidance—to strengthen Curaçao’s regulatory and radiation safety infrastructure.

Located in the southern Caribbean Sea, Curaçao is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is home to more than 160,000 inhabitants. In keeping with its mandate, the IAEA supports its Member States, and their respective dependent territories, as they enhance their management and regulatory control of radioactive sources, including those deployed in hospitals, for research purposes or in industry.

Organized as part of an ongoing, regional technical cooperation (TC) project[1] which is supporting eight island and littoral countries in their control and management of radioactive sources, the expert mission took place from 17 to 20 June and marks the launch of a series support activities designed to strengthen the control of sources and to promote alignment with IAEA Safety Standards. Divided into two groups, the IAEA experts reviewed existing regulatory arrangements on the island and advised counterparts in Curaçao on how best to establish an inventory of sources of ionizing radiation.

The Agency experts conducted visits to a number of facilities which currently, or are expected to, deploy radiation sources for medical or industrial purposes. These included dental clinics, hospitals offering radiotherapy or nuclear medicine services and institutions which use industrial radiography for non-destructive testing.

IAEA experts Dariusz Mroz and Juan Carlos Benitez Navarro conducted the fact-finding mission and met with Curaçaoan counterparts to better understand their needs. (Photo: J. Abraham/Curacao Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature)

The IAEA experts also delivered lectures on regulatory framework development and introduced Curaçaoan counterparts to best practices for the development of inventories and for the maintenance of regulatory data and information.

The mission follows the finalization of an Agreement, in February 2019, between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the IAEA, which outlines a series of planned activities to strengthen the capacities and infrastructure available to the Government of Curacao for the control of radioactive sources within the country.

[1] RLA9081, ‘Strengthening Cradle-to-Grave Control of Radioactive Sources’

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