From 06th to 10 November 2017, Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conducted training course on nuclear security awareness and security of radioactive materials, to senior officials from various institutions dealing with radiation protection in Rwanda.
The week long training was in the framework of equipping participants including RURA staff with deep knowledge about nuclear and radioactive materials security and regulation framework, in bid to enable RURA to start assuming the recent mandated responsibilities of regulating radioactive materials in Rwanda.
Speaking during the opening of the training course, the minister of state for energy, water and sanitation, Germaine Kamayirese recognized the importance of radioactive sources in acceralating national economy and wellbeing of the population, but with great attention to the risks of using radioactive materials.
"It’s better for us to build appropriate knowledge and skills, establish the proper institution and regulatory environment and ensure compliance of all international standards and requirements," State Minister Kamayirese commenting on the role of training course.
In Rwanda, radioactive materials are dominantly found in health or medical diagnostic services using x-rays, public building using body scanners and in mining industry.
IAEA defines radiation as an energy moving through space, either as particles or electromagnetic waves, while radioactivity is a property of unstable atoms trying to become stable by emitting radiations.
Rene Schlee who is an Associate Nuclear Security Officer and one of the IAEA experts, pointed out that dealing with nuclear and radioactive materials involve early prevention, detection and response.
RURA Director General, Maj.Patrict Nyirishema pledged to continue working together with all stakeholders institutions that have been dealing with radiation protection, in order to make sure that the right regulatory tools are adopted and operational.
"There is no doubt that the training will go away in helping us to get broader understanding and get us better equipped, because the task at hand starts by having a good understanding," DG Nyirishema observed.
On 27th May 2017, the Cabinet approved the draft law governing radiation protection in Rwanda which is still under consultation in parliament. Recently, RURA was designated as an appropriate body to drive forward nuclear and radioactive applications, and will champion the process of approving the remaining international instruments that have been identified for approval.
You can get here pictures taken from the training course.