The Law N°59/2017 OF 24/1/2018 Governing Radiation Protection in Rwanda, especially in Article 4, gives RURA the mandate to regulate radiation materials including nuclear energy. It clearly indicates that the regulatory functions for radiation protection are performed by the Regulatory Authority in an independent, impartial and transparent manner.
The Law governs the use, management and regulation of ionising radiations related activities to ensure protection of people, biodiversity and the environment from ionising radiations adverse effects by assessing and managing the risks posed by ionising radiations related activities.
The Law applies also to the management of radioactive waste resulting from civilian applications, the regulation and management of the peaceful use of ionising radiations including the production, possession, use, import, export, transportation, transfer, handling and management, or other related activities or practices approved by the Regulatory Authority, RURA.
In Rwanda radioactive materials and radiation sources are found in medical centres such as hospitals, security agencies, agriculture sector, mining and milling, industries, construction, etc.
Radioactivity is defined as a natural phenomenon and natural sources of radiation are features of the environment. Radiation and radioactive substances have many beneficial applications, ranging from power generation to be used in medicine, industry, in farming and other sectors.
RURA's Major Focus in Regulating Radiation Protection
As stated by the Law Governing Radiation Protection in Rwanda in article 5, RURA as the competent Regulatory Authority has to fulfill the assigned mandate by focusing mainly on the following:
1° to put in place regulations and guidelines and rules for implementing this Law;
2° to grant, amend, temporarily suspend or revoke authorizations, permits and licenses issued, as well as set conditions for ionising radiations related activities;
3° to inspect, monitor and assess ionising radiations related activities;
4° to enforce administrative measures and penalties in the event of non-compliance with the established regulations;
5° to ensure that corrective actions taken to counter unsafe or potentially unsafe conditions detected at the location where licensed activities are taken place are complied with by the licensees;
6° to establish, maintain and update a national register of ionising radiations sources;
7° to identify ionising radiations places, material or sources;
8° to establish dose limits of ionising radiations to persons in conducting activities whose regulation is carried out by the Regulatory Authority;
9° to establish regulatory measures for the security of radioactive materials and associated facilities, and establish measures for the detection, prevention and response to unauthorized or malicious acts involving ionising radiations materials or facilities;
10° to cooperate with other relevant agencies in establishing and maintaining a plan for preparedness for and response to ionising radiations emergencies;
11° to cooperate with other public or private bodies involved in radiation protection;
12° to exchange information and cooperate with regulatory bodies in other Countries and with relevant international organizations while exercising its responsibilities;
13° to establish appropriate mechanisms and procedures for informing and consulting the public and other stakeholders about regulatory process of ionising radiation related activities as to the safety, health and environmental aspects of regulated activities and practices, including incidents, accidents and abnormal occurrences;
14° to advise the Government on matters relating to radiation protection;
15° to ensure the implementation of international conventions related to radiation protection ratified by Rwanda;
16° to specify activities exempted from regulatory control;
17° to perform any other activity meant for guarding people, environment and biodiversity against ionising radiations.