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IAEA Supports African Countries to Strengthen Regulatory Infrastructure


All 14 countries under the RIDP Africa project use radiation sources, often in medicine. (Photo: IAEA)

An 18-month project to strengthen national frameworks for safety of radioactive sources in 14 African countries was launched by the IAEA and the participating countries at a meeting held in July 2017 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Participants in the Regulatory Infrastructure Development Project (RIDP) kick-off meeting agreed to a project action plan that includes workshops, advisory missions, expert meetings and more.

All countries taking part in the project -  13 IAEA Member States and Gambia, which is not an IAEA Member State - use or own radioactive sources in fields such as medicine, industry and research. Project activities will help them strengthen procedures and systems to handle and control the sources.

The action plan includes work to help participating countries address shortcomings in their legal and regulatory infrastructure for the safe use of radioactive sources

“This project and other IAEA support will help countries in Africa strengthen their capacity to use uses of nuclear and radiation science and technology for peaceful and beneficial purposes,” said Shaukat Abdulrazak, Director of the IAEA Technical Cooperation Department’s Division for Africa.  “A strong radiation safety infrastructure enables a country to better use nuclear and radiation science and technology for sustainable development.”

IAEA staff and experts involved in the project, which is supported by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will review the countries’ regulatory infrastructure using IAEA advisory missions and peer reviews, such as the Integrated Regulatory Review Service.

Sessions held as part of the project will also highlight how to use an IAEA Self-Assessment of Regulatory Infrastructure for Safety, and effective ways to draft regulations and improve regulatory authority staff skills.

Similar projects were held in 2013 in Afghanistan and from 2014 to 2016 in North Africa and the Middle East. Those projects helped participants' strengthen their ability to regulate activities such as radiology, nuclear medicine, radiotherapy, industrial radiography, industrial irradiators, nuclear gauges and well logging.


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