On-line Discussion on the Future Expansion of the Information Tracking System

Astana, 13 November 2020. To discuss a planned expansion and future use of the Information Tracking System (ITS) under Project MC 5.01 15B, the ISTC and the Software Company Ltd. convened on 11 November an on-line meeting with representatives of the project participating and partner countries. The ITS is a common web-based platform for data exchange and monitoring the transportation of Uranium Ore Concentrate and other radioactive materials within and across the borders of several southern African states.

The Managing Director of Software Company, put into timeline the delivery of equipment and trainings, and elaborated on the ITS usage and security requirements. He introduced future trainings for DR Congo, Mozambique and Madagascar: a preliminary training will target designated IT specialists, while the actual training will be offered to larger groups of users. ITS is online and working since 1 June 2019 with one server installed in TAEC - Arusha, Tanzania, and a second one located in NNR - Pretoria, South Africa. All necessary equipment for ITS use is delivered also to Malawi and Zambia. ITS applies all information security recommendations for sensitive data, described in IAEA’s Nuclear Security Series No.23-G.

Experts from Software Company, outlined the new ITS features under development: shipment simulation, multilingual support, support for different radioactive source types, data exchange with international (RAIS, IORIS) and local databases. The Software company is working on developing new features, such as: multi-map mode, active trackers view and mobile devices tracking. The proposed approaches to implement data exchange include API methods, encrypted file transfer and a specific tool or module.

General discussion followed with a senior official of the DRC Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA), who explained the necessary customs formalities for equipment delivery and outlined his country’s views on the project. The NRA top leadership confirmed that DRC is willing to receive, use and ensure the ITS sustainable exploitation. DRC is keenly interested to have a country specific report, elaborated under Project MC 5.01 15B.

A representative from the National Agency of Atomic Energy (ANEA), Mozambique and an expert from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (AERA), Malawi, discussed their experience with RAIS version and IT requisites for the system.

Representatives from the Radiation Protection Authority (RPA), Zambia raised questions concerning the ITS use at national level, and the problems with mobile data connectivity and coverage in some regions.

During the discussion, all participants assured they use the RAIS web 3.4 version. RAIS (the Regulatory Authority Information System), is a software application developed by the IAEA to assist member states in managing their regulatory control programmes in accordance with IAEA Safety Standards and guides. This includes the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radioactive Sources and its supplementary Guidance on the Import and Export of Radioactive Sources. RAIS promotes a consistent and common approach to the regulatory control of radiation sources.

The Software company urged the interested participants to test and work with both the real and test servers. The company committed to promptly deliver the necessary equipment once the customs formalities are cleared. On its part, ISTC suggested that if in 2021 health circumstances permit, in- person testing of the system could take place; partner countries with seaports like Mozambique are invited and expected to take part in such exercise.