National stakeholders are set to benefit from information and knowledge benefit from training on radiation emergency preparedness and response during a five day training course currently underway.
The training is facilitated by International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Ministry of Public Health.
The aim of the workshop is to equip participants with the basic knowledge on the safety and the regulation of radiation sources.
According to Chairman of the EPA Board of Directors, Dr. Patrick Williams, it’s anticipated that at the conclusion of the sessions, capacity will be built for national regulatory agencies to establish, operate and adequately regulate a programme for the safety and security of radiation sources.
Guyana is currently working to manage or address any form of radiation emission.
At present, the EPA and vehicle importers are in no position to detect vehicles with high levels of radiation. The EPA had told this publication that it had no equipment to detect various levels of radiation, while several vehicle importers said that they too are unable to do so, and that they were depending on exporters to sell them safe motor vehicles.
The problem of radiation was highlighted following the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant fallout in Japan in 2011, which was caused by a massive earthquake that triggered a tsunami causing widespread devastation in the East Asian country.
This is not the first time the IAEA conducted programmes in the country.
The first meeting that involved the IAEA in Guyana focused on training in ‘radiation emergency preparedness and responses’ and dates back to 2016. It coincided with the visit of an IAEA expert mission on ‘Emergency Preparedness and Response to Nuclear and Radiological emergencies’.
This was specifically designed for new IAEA Caribbean Member States. That IAEA Mission was the launch pad for Guyana’s National Radiation Emergency Plan in line with PAHO/WHO’s Biennial Work Plan 2016-2017.
The IAEA has been involved in a partnership with Caribbean countries over the years, with the goal of developing their capacity in addressing the above mentioned since 2016, IAEA/PAHO and CEDEMA have been working in partnership to assist Caribbean countries in the development of their national capabilities to respond to radiological emergencies.
Guyana was the first Caribbean country to benefit from the initial intervention in 2016 to develop their national capabilities.
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