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IAEA Helps Nicaragua Strengthen Occupational Radiation Protection


Members of the ORPAS team verify X-ray measurements for material characterization at the Puma Energy refinery in Managua. (Photo: PUMA ENERGY)

Nicaragua implements measures to provide radiation protection for workers in line with IAEA safety standards, according to the conclusions of a recent Occupational Radiation Protection Appraisal Service (ORPAS)

The 1-9 July mission, conducted by a six-member IAEA-led team, found that the authorities also are applying the IAEA safety standards as they work to further strengthen occupational radiation protection. 

“The team reviewed practices in the medical and industrial sectors,” said ORPAS team leader Alejandro Nader, Senior Adviser at Uruguay’s National Regulatory Authority. “The findings were very well received and are expected to trigger actions to further improve safety.”

The team comprised radiation experts from Argentina, Costa Rica, Cuba, Uruguay, the Pan-American Health Organization and the IAEA, recommended that national authorities update the licensing process, improve safety assessments in facilities and activities and promote safety culture. 

The team visited 13 institutions employing some of Nicaragua’s 1,700 occupationally exposed workers, including health centers, a technical support organization, industries, and a border crossing where X rays are used as part of efforts to combat smuggling.  

“The ORPAS recommendations represent a great support for my country in terms of occupational radiation protection,” said Marta Rosales, Director General of Regulation at the Ministry of Health in Nicaragua. “We will integrate them into the different aspects of safety in medical sector as well as in industry.”

The team’s report was delivered to the Ministry of Health and the National Energy Commission of Nicaragua, which coordinated the mission. 

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