The U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Radiation Sources Regulatory Partnership (RSRP) has become very active in Africa. To review progress made and develop activities for the next 24 months the 1st RSRP Regional Meeting in the Africa region was held in Nairobi, Kenya from May 21-23, 2018. The meeting was hosted by the Kenyan Radiation Protection Board (RPB) and was attended by 17 representatives of the regulatory authorities from 11 African countries: Central Africa Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia. The goal of the RSRP is to provide support to regulatory bodies to assist them to improve their regulatory work.
The meeting provided overview of the RSRP program activities and accomplishments in Africa and other regions. RSRP partner countries presented on the status of their regulatory programs, discussed recent accomplishments, including completion of tasks under RSRP, and current regulatory challenges. Representatives from the Atomic Energy Council of Uganda delivered a special presentation focused on Good Practices using the Advanced Regulatory Information System (ARIS) software. The presentation emphasized the use of ARIS as a simple and effective tool for daily regulatory work. A representative from Georgia’s Agency for Nuclear and Radiation Safety presented an overview of ARIS and its capabilities for the countries that are planning to conduct country wide inventories with support from RSRP, discussed recent updates in ARIS 2.5 and the capabilities of OCCUDOSE designed for tracking occupational exposure. An IAEA representative discussed complimentary regulatory development activities in the region.
Addressing common challenges in Africa, two technical presentations were delivered by AdSTM on licensing and inspection of industrial radiography and radiation therapy - a high priority for the regulatory authorities in many African countries.
NRC, supported by AdSTM, conducted bilateral meetings with each participating country and identified country specific needs. These generally fall into the following categories:
- Completion of or conduct of new country wide inventory,
- General and specific regulatory development related to industrial radiography, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine and radioactive material transport,
- Training in the area of licensing and inspection of industrial radiography, well-logging, nuclear gauges, irradiation facilities, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine including cyclotron and radio-pharmacy facilities,
- Installation/update and training of ARIS,
- Equipment calibration,
- Management of disused sources.
The needs will be analyzed and placed into the RSRP Africa Master Plan for activities to be conducted over the next 24 months.
Meeting participants for RSRP program: Dave Skeen (Deputy Director for the NRC’s Office of International Programs), Eric Stahl (NRC), Ahmad Al-Khatibeh (IAEA), Sergey Katsenelenbogen (AdSTM VP), Mario Rodriguez and John Kinneman (RSRP Africa Program technical support), Grigol Basilia (ANRS of Georgia – ARIS expert), and Diana Thompson (AdSTM radiotherapy regulatory expert). We express special thanks to Joseph Maina of RPB for assistance with meeting organization and to Dr. Ababacar Sadikhe Ndao of Senegal for assisting with the French translation in the bilateral meetings.