On the evening of December 12, 2012, Commissioner Kristine L. Svinicki of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) delivered remarks at the commencement ceremony for the second graduating class of the NRC-sponsored Post-Graduate Program on Radiation Protection. All graduates of this class had obtained employment offers upon graduation in the radiation protection area, although, the Panamanian regulator has been unable to offer these graduates employment due to hiring constraints.
This program is designed to prepare individuals to become Radiation Protection Officers. Entry into the program requires a thorough selection process to ensure that the students already have a degree and that the students will be dedicated to complete course requirements for the duration of the program. The course program covers theoretical and practical knowledge in safety and security of radioactive materials, and the course material consisted of four modules. The evening program offered courses for 4–5 days per week between 5:30 – 9:00 pm for a year, and allowed students to maintain employment while attending the course. Select topics were covered by international lecturers with support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and NRC. Other speakers at the graduation ceremony were Dr. Javier Diaz, Panama’s Minister of Health, Dr. Max Ramirez, the Director General of Public Health; Dr. Enrique Mendoza, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Panama, and Dr. Luis Longoria, IAEA Director for Department of Technical Cooperation in Latin America.