PROJECT MC5.01/15B - SUPPORT TO SOUTHERN AFRICAN STATES IN NUCLEAR SAFETY AND SAFEGUARDS
- I phase: 36 months
II phase: 12 months(November 2016 - November 2020)
- € 2,5 million
- European Commission,
- Directorate-General for
- International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO),
- Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation
- International Science and
- Technology Center (ISTC), Astana
- DEVCO project manager:
- Geneviève Lizin, (Genevieve.LIZIN@ec.europa.eu)
- ISTC project manager:
- Kamen Velichkov, (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The major challenges in the countries of the region of Southern Africa in terms of radiological and nuclear risks are the Uranium mining, milling and transport activities as well as the management of radiological sources.
Uranium mining is ongoing and developing in sub-Saharan African states as part of their development policies. Experiences from other regions show that sustainable Uranium mining must be considered at the inception of the activity through the application of best international standards in the licensing process. This will avoid negative environmental impact and very expensive remediation plans. Exporting Uranium Ore Concentrate requires cross-border transport through neighboring countries and is therefore a regional issue. An example are the current plans to transport Uranium through four different states: Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Namibia.
Radioactive sources are widely used in medicine and industry in all countries in the region. Registration, regulation and management of these sources according to their licensing conditions varies. This situation encompasses cross-border safety and security issues and therefore calls for a strengthened international cooperation.
To address these challenges, in 2017, African and European partners launched Project MC 5.01/15B, Support to Southern African States in Nuclear Safety and Safeguards, with four pilot countries: Tanzania, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia. By 2019, the project activities have involved also representatives of nuclear regulatory authorities and other responsible public institutions from Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, the Comoros, Madagascar, the Seychelles, DR Congo, South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mauritius, as well as the Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The project participating and partner countries consider EU technical assistance essential in acquiring both scientific and organizational know how to fulfil the nuclear safety requirements. Project MC 5.01/15B seeks synergies with a parallel EU-funded project under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, namely P 60 “Support to the Centre of Excellence of Eastern and Central Africa in Nuclear Security”. Together, the two projects illustrate the internationally recommended “Triple S” approach addressing simultaneously the nuclear safety, safeguards and security issues.
The overall long-term objective of the project is
- to strengthen and harmonize the nuclear regulatory frameworks in the participating countries for sustainable uranium mining, milling, processing and associated transport in the sub - Saharan region of Africa,
- to enhance the nuclear safety and security policies of the participating countries and to support their efforts to fulfill the international safeguards obligations they have undertaken;
- to support the regional approach by strengthening the capacity of SADC to serve its member states, including through the development of a regionally harmonized system of accountancy, control and transport of radioactive and nuclear (RN) materials designed to improve the communication and interaction among the originating, transit and destination countries;
The project will aim to
- analyze,help upgrade and harmonize on a regional basis the national regulatory frameworks;
- perform case studies in the project participating and partner countries and at a regional level analyzing the production and transport of Uranium;
- set up a web-based communication system with servers and workstations at the responsible organizations in the beneficiary countries, with a flexibility to allow further extension to other countries joining the network;
- organize a simulation and a field exercise in conjunction with P- 60 project;
- set up a web based communication system with a central server at SADC Headquarters, and fully-supported work stations at the responsible organizations in the four beneficiary countries, with a flexibility to allow further extension to other countries joining the network;
organize an exercise simulating the transport of Uranium Ore Concentrate from Tanzania and Malawi to Namibia through Zambia; monitor the provisions applied in individual countries & at border crossings; and assess the interaction at the regional level;
organize a simulation and a field exercise in conjunction with P-60 project;
contribute to raise public awareness on nuclear safety in the participating countries through public events, media exposure and communication workshops.
Results (by February 2020)
- A web-based Information Tracking System (ITS), providing a platform for data exchange of transportation of UOC and other radioactive materials designed and launched; servers and all necessary equipment supplied and installed by the contractor, the Software Company Ltd., in the workstations’ venues: Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa;
- 120+ professionals from national institutions of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, Eswatini and DR Congo trained in nuclear safety, security and safeguards in the transportation of UOC and other radioactive materials;
- 43 experts from Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi trained by the Software Company Ltd. in using the ITS to monitor the transportation of radioactive materials within and across national borders;
- 23 representatives of public organizations and academia from 13 Southern African states learned from the experience of European nuclear institutions during a study visit to Finland, organized by Environics and Societal Security Solutions Ltd.;
- 400+ African high school and university students, young researchers and industry professionals took part in nuclear advocacy initiatives supported by the project and the ISTC, such as: the launch in Nairobi of the African Young Generation in Nuclear (AYGN) (March 2017); a two-day international workshop on nuclear advocacy and communication, convened by AYGN in Nairobi (November 2017); a regional conference on enhancing Africa’s capacity in nuclear safety, security and safeguards and launch of AYGN Zambia Chapter in Lusaka (August 2018); the Second African Youth Nuclear Summit in Pretoria (October 2019).