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IAEA Signs Three Radiation Protection and Safety Agreements


An IAEA radiation monitoring technician takes a sample for radiological monitoring at the IAEA laboratories in Seibersdorf, Austria. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation is the IAEA’s fundamental safety objective. Last week, at the 67th regular session of the IAEA General Conference, in Vienna, the IAEA signed three cooperation agreements, supporting countries in strengthening protection from ionizing radiation while enjoying the many beneficial uses it can bring.

Lydie Evrard, IAEA Deputy Director General (DDG) and Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security, signed cooperation agreements with the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), Argentinian Nuclear Regulatory Authority and Moroccan Agency for Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security (AMSSNuR). These agreements will further strengthen the collaboration on activities to support the IAEA towards the development and application of relevant IAEA radiation safety standards through trainings, workshops, peer review missions and other approaches to improving radiation safety around the world.

“These milestone signings, with an international association and two national regulators, demonstrate the commitment to the IAEA safety standards, and their implementation, and set out clear actions that will allow us to take concrete steps towards our shared goals in achieving the highest levels of radiation protection and safety worldwide,” DDG Evrard said.

IRPA continues to support IAEA safety standards

(Photo: C. Villarreal Silva/IAEA)

IRPA President Bernard Le Guen and DDG Evrard signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding in Radiation Protection and Safety, building on the extensive cooperation between the two organizations. This includes the work of the IAEA Safety Standards Committees, which make recommendations for the development, review and revision of the IAEA Safety Standards, and in IAEA review missions and advisory services, which compare country practices with the safety standards for strengthening radiation protection.

The IRPA agreed to continue to support the IAEA in promoting the application of relevant IAEA radiation safety standards, including in activities to fight cancer in Africa under the IAEA Rays of Hope initiative and in the development of relevant safety culture guidance and education tools, such as e-learning modules and training courses. The IAEA committed to continue its support to IRPA International and Regional Congresses, in particular to enhance the engagement of young professionals and to promote professions in radiation protection and safety to women.

Both organizations pledged to continue their significant contribution to the international harmonization of radiation protection through the development of safety standards and other relevant publications as part of the IAEA’s membership and IRPA's observership in the Inter-Agency Committee on Radiation Safety (IACRS).

Argentina commits to strengthening radiation safety of consumer goods

(Photo: C. Villarreal Silva/IAEA)

The Vice President of Argentina’s national regulator, Marina Di Giorgio, and DDG Evrard signed a practical arrangement on radiation safety and monitoring. This renews the 2015 arrangement and continues their partnership in radiation safety to benefit not only Argentina and the Latin America and the Caribbean region but also other IAEA Member States worldwide.

The parties agreed to cooperate on activities related to the presence of radionuclides in consumer goods in non-emergency situations, including by developing an IAEA safety report and by co-organizing and participating in meetings to develop radiation protection criteria and approaches, the first of which will held by the National Academy of Science in Buenos Aires, Argentina in March 2024.

Morocco pledges capacity building support for African countries

(Photo: C. Villarreal Silva/IAEA)

Saïd Mouline, Director General of Morocco’s regulatory body, and DDG Evrard signed a practical arrangement for establishing and strengthening regulatory infrastructure for radiation safety in Africa. The agreement enhances their existing partnership on capacity building activities in the region, including workshops, mentorships, training courses and train-the-trainer courses for radiation protection officers and for health professionals in radiation protection of patients.

A specific focus of the cooperation will be the establishment of an African School for Radiation Safety Regulators, covering all functions of the regulatory body and its organization. IAEA and AMSSNuR also agreed to maximize the long term sustainability and effectiveness of the national regulatory infrastructure for radiation safety.

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