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Toward Cradle-to-Grave Control in the Caribbean: IAEA Supports Member State Source Management Efforts

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Participants attending the RLA9081 Midterm Coordination Meeting. (Photo: International Centre for Environment and Nuclear Science)

To protect the public from the hazards of ionizing radiation and prevent disused radioactive sources from becoming ‘orphaned’, the IAEA promotes ‘cradle-to-grave’ source control as an essential component of a strong regulatory infrastructure. Through an ongoing regional technical cooperation project[1], and in partnership with the United States Department of Energy (US DOE), the IAEA is supporting the Caribbean region’s efforts toward comprehensive control of radioactive sources and x-ray generators at national level.

From 11 to 15 December 2017, participants from six[2] Caribbean IAEA Member States met to evaluate their progress in developing cradle-to-grave control systems. With the assistance of IAEA and US DOE staff, Member State representatives outlined steps taken to establish national registers of radioactive sources, develop disused sealed radioactive sources (DSRS) management policies, implement the Codes of Conduct, and collect, condition, and store DSRS. The Member States also worked to define future actions to be taken during the two remaining project years (2018-2019).

Andrea Andrew, the National Liaison Officer for Antigua and Barbuda, noted “Antigua and Barbuda has benefited tremendously from IAEA membership and more specifically from the technical cooperation programme. Through our close collaboration and cooperation with the Agency, the country has made significant progress in cradle-to-grave control of radiation sources and many other projects.” Ruth Munnings, of the Bahamian Ministry of Housing and the Environment, believes the project has contributed positively to the Bahamas’ awareness of radioactive sources, as the country now has a complete and updated radioactive sources inventory and new legal provisions to ensure the safe use of radioactive sources.

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[1] RLA9081 “Strengthening Cradle-to-Grave Control of Radioactive Sources”. Components of this regional technical project are funded through the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Fund, and through extrabudgetary contributions from the United States of America.

[2] Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago.

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