On 2 September 2021, ISTC convened a meeting of the Project MC 5.01 15B Steering Committee (SC) and the nuclear regulators of the countries – members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The agenda comprised major outcomes from activities in 2020-2021, the period marked by the COVID 19 pandemic. In his opening remarks ISTC Executive Director David Cleave called on the SC members to provide guidance to the working groups and experts involved in the implementation as to the further steps that would solidify the positive results and lead to a successful completion of the project.
In her comments Geneviève Lizin, Project Manager, International Partnerships, European Commission, expressed satisfaction on the progress in the project’s implementation made so far, despite the COVID 19 pandemic. In the last pandemic year special attention was paid to the creation of a SADC regulator’s network. To strengthen the coordinating role of nuclear regulators, ISTC organized series of webinars on Stakeholders Engagement that were used also as a platform for peer review of the country specific reports.
The exchange of internationally recognized practices was also in the focus of attention, whereby ISTC and the Kazakh’s Nuclear Technology Safety Center prepared a working visit for representatives of 16 African countries with the purpose to acquaint them with the experience of Kazakhstan in ensuring safety in the process of mining, milling and transport of uranium ores. Under the enduring pandemic conditions, the in-person visit will likely be substituted by six online presentations. The Working group on the Regional comparative report is presided by Zambia and comprises the authors of the eight country specific reports. The Group intends to elaborate its regional coordination recommendations and a regional Action Plan on the findings of the reports and on positive examples, such as the bilateral agreement between Zambia and DRC on exchange of information.
Many activities were designed to provide training on regulations for the safe transport of radioactive material and the use of the Information Tracking System (ITS). The latter was successfully deployed in half of the SADC Member States, twice the originally envisaged number. The South African Nuclear National Regulator, hosting one of ITS servers, approbated it within the Republic of South Africa (RSA). A training workshop for RSA stakeholders from the industry and uranium transporters will boost the usage of the system. The AFCONE-FNRBA-ISTC Training Course on the Implementation of the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material and also the Information Tracking System deployed within the framework of the project attracted interest at IAEA and will be presented at a side event during the International Conference on the Safe and Secure Transport of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials in December 2021, in Vienna.