Setting Priorities: Regional Workshop Supports Design of Nineteen National Projects on Radiation Safety in Latin America and the Caribbean

The panel of speakers at the opening of the regional workshop. (Photo: J. Krickl/IAEA)

Participants at a workshop on radiation safety in Latin America and the Caribbean have designed nineteen project proposals for the 2018—2019 IAEA technical cooperation (TC) cycle, based on a radiation safety assessment of each country and individual national priorities defined for the upcoming TC programme cycle. The workshop, which took place 30 January — 3 February 2017 in Vienna, Austria, brought together project counterparts from 18 countries. The workshop was also attended by Mr Cesar Cardozo, Minister Executive Secretary, Ministry Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Paraguay, Ms Maria Esther Anchia, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Health, Costa Rica, and Ms María de los Ángeles Peña, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Energy and Mines, Dominican Republic.

Working with the Department of Technical Cooperation, the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security and the Department of Nuclear Energy, the workshop participants reviewed and completed designs for nineteen national TC project proposals. Each project design addresses all seven of the IAEA’s thematic safety areas (TSAs)[1], aiming to strengthen regulatory and radiation safety infrastructure, and to build the capabilities of end-users and technical support organizations in radiation protection and emergency preparedness and response.

Interview with Mr Cesar Cardozo, Minister Executive Secretary, Ministry Radiological and Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Paraguay. (Video: J. Krickl/IAEA)

Ms Anchia, Vice Minister of Health from Costa Rica, acknowledged the strategic importance of these national projects. “These projects empower the Regulatory Authority by providing it with the general overview of what happens at the country level in the different thematic safety areas,” she said.

Ms María de los Ángeles Peña, Vice Minister of Energy and Mining from the Dominican Republic appreciated the opportunity to interact with technical officers from the different TSAs, saying “It was an eye opener to be able to discuss the country’s concerns with different experts. I go back to my country with a clear action plan.”

Interview with Ms Maria Esther Anchia, Vice-Minister, Ministry of Health, Costa Rica. (Video: J. Krickl/IAEA)

Project design work will continue until mid-2017. Following finalisation, the projects will be submitted to the IAEA Board of Governors for review and approval in November 2017.

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[1] The IAEA thematic safety areas are TSA 1: Regulatory Framework, TSA 2: Occupational Radiation Protection, TSA 3: Patient Radiation Protection, TSA 4: Public Radiation Protection, TSA 5: Emergency Preparedness and Response, TSA 6: Education and Training, and TSA7: Transport Safety.