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Side event at the GC57: Strengthening Cradle-to-Grave Control of Radioactive Sources in the Mediterranean Region

Radioactive sources are widely used for beneficial purposes in industry, medicine, agriculture, research and education. They are used for medical diagnostics and therapy, for analyzing industrial processes, and for sterilizing food and medical products. Once radioactive sources have reached the end of their useful life, they must be carefully managed and disposed of so that they do not end up in the environment or come into contact with people.

At a side event at the 57th IAEA General Conference entitled ‘Strengthening Cradle-to-Grave Control of Radioactive Sources in the Mediterranean Region’, the IAEA’s Department of Technical Cooperation raised awareness of the importance of proper and safe disposal of disused sealed radioactive sources and international cooperation to enhance their control.

The side event focussed on an active interregional IAEA technical cooperation project, supported by the European Commission (EC), on the management of disused radioactive sources. The project helps Member States to develop and implement a harmonized approach to ensure adequate and permanent control over disused radioactive sources in the Mediterranean region. The event presented project goals, progress and achievements and discussed how the IAEA may further support improved control of disused radioactive sources in the Mediterranean region.

Ana Raffo, Director for the Division of Programme and Coordination, Department of Technical Cooperation, IAEA, opened the event with a brief introduction and presentation of keynote speakers and the participants.

As the Project Manager, Manuel Recio provided a general overview of the project and the successful cooperation with the EC. He described the main project activities and the support provided by the IAEA with regards to drafting policies and strategies on the control of radioactive sources in line with the IAEA safety standards. He also highlighted the various mechanisms through which the IAEA delivers its technical cooperation assistance, such as workshops, meeting, expert missions, and training courses.

Following the project overview, Technical Officers from the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waster Technology Section (NEFW) and the Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety (NSRW) described the challenges related to waste technology and radiation safety and provided advice on the necessary actions needed to be taken to address these issues.

Three presentations were made by national nuclear safety bodies in Morocco, Slovenia and Spain. Rosario Velasco García, Vice-President of the Nuclear Safety Council in Spain described the benefits of international cooperation to enhance the control of disused sealed radioactive sources in Mediterranean region, while Tazi Saisout, Director at the Centre National de Radioprotection in Morocco and Andrej Stritar, Director at the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration presented their national needs and the benefits they expect from participating in the project.

A Q&A session concluded the event. During the session, many agreed that fostering international cooperation between countries can address many of the existing problems as it would facilitate the transfer of best practices in the management of disused radioactive sources and combine the resources of several countries. Harmonizing different national approaches to control disused radioactive sealed sources was stressed as one of the possible alternatives to foster the international cooperation between countries. The Q&A session also examined what else the IAEA can do to improve the safe management of disused sealed radioactive sources in the Mediterranean region. 

Side event presentations

Presentation 1: Manuel Recio (Project Management Officer). View here
Presentation 2: Ms Monika Kinker (Technical Officer). View here
Speech: Ms Rosario Velasco. View here
National Needs and Expected Benefits from the Participation of Morocco in Project INT9176. View here
National Needs and Expected Benefits from the Participation of Slovenia in Project INT9176. View here

Responsible/Contact: Department of Technical Cooperation | Last update: 10 Apr, 2015

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