Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Africa Signs MOU With Korea on Nuclear Safety

The Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa, FNRBA, an umbrella association of national nuclear regulatory agencies in the continent, is to cooperate with South Korea in a wide range of areas in the field of nuclear and radiation safety. This follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the FNRBA and the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety, KINS, the nuclear regulatory agency in Korea. Professor Shamsideen Elegba, Director-General, Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, NNRA, who is also the Chairperson of the Forum, signed for FNRBA while Professor Choul Ho Yun, President of KINS, signed for his organisation.

The MOU is widely seen as important to the 33 African countries which are members of the FNRBA, especially 22 of them pursuing a nuclear power programme for electricity generation like Nigeria. It is pertinent to note that South Korea has over 30 years experience in the safe operation of Nuclear Power Plants, NPPs, and has 20 NPPs in operation with six more currently under construction. In addition, South Korea has the world's first International Nuclear Safety School which is an IAEA regional training centre in Asia, awarding up to Masters Degree in nuclear and radiation safety. It is noteworthy that two members of staff of the NNRA are currently on scholarship in that highly competitive programme.

The MoU, which is on a basis of equality and reciprocity, borders on areas of mutual cooperation between the signing parties especially in the areas of capacity building, staff training and sharing of experience. Both parties, under the MoU, can exchange experts and other scientific and technical personnel; participate in studies, symposia, seminars as well as other activities related to nuclear and radiation safety.

The MoU was signed in the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, where the signatories were among the delegates for the 54th International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA's, General Conference in which 151 member-countries of the IAEA discussed issues of global importance in the nuclear world.

Hamisu Muhammad - Daily Trust

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