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UoN hosts AFRA regional workshop
Sponsored by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) through the African Regional Cooperative Agreement (AFRA) for Research, Development and Training, the ‘Train-the-Trainers for Radiation Protection Officers Workshop’ was recently held at the Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology.
The workshop which attracted the participation of 15 African countries and the United Kingdom was officially opened by Prof. Lucy Irungu, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Production and Extension, University of Nairobi.
In her remarks, Prof. Irungu termed the training as timely and relevant because the world is thinking of going for nuclear electricity generation.
“Kenya is keen in this area as an effort to mitigate climate change impacts in the region which is normally devastated by drought and receding underground water. Hydropower therefore is insufficient in supporting both industrial and domestic uses of energy,” she said. “In the circumstances, alternative forms and sources of energy have to be identified and exploited in tandem with concerted research efforts to improve efficiency and cheap methods of harnessing the solar, wind and biogas energy.”
To this end, nuclear electricity is being promoted to provide the necessary alternative energy that is eventually cheap and reliable. However, matters of safety and waste management have to be addressed beyond the current radiation protection approach in the perspective of low-level radiation sources in various applications. Both people and the environment need protection from the harmful effects of any kind of radiation and particularly ionizing radiation.
AFRA aims at developing capacity and facilitate, through regional cooperation, the use of infrastructure to exploit relevant nuclear technology safely in order to meet the challenges of sustainable socio-economic development in Africa. The project is focused on Strengthening Education and Training Infrastructure and Building Competence in Radiation Safety.
The participants are expected to train others who in turn will develop methods of protecting the public from ionizing radiation and educate them.