The Expert Mission for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in frame of the CBRN CoE Project 60, took place in Kampala, Uganda from 16 to 18 January 2019. Four national representatives from the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technology, the Regulatory Authority (CNPRI – Comité National de Protection contre les Rayonnements Ionisants), and from the CoE CBRN national team participated in the meeting. Two experts of the Consortium (ENCO, SCK•CEN and STUK) implemented the mission.
The main objective of the mission was to collect information on the status and issues of interest for the areas covered by P 60.
The current legislative framework in the DRC is defined in the law No. 017-2002 of 16 October 2002 which contains provisions for the protection against ionizing radiation and the physical protection of nuclear materials and nuclear facilities. The content of this law as well as the resulting regulatory documents were presented by the national experts who said that there is a project to revise this law and these regulatory documents. The Consortium experts reviewed thoroughly this Law and these regulatory documents with the national experts to identify if all these documents cover all necessary elements (based on international recommendations) for the safe and secure management of RN material. It appeared that the security requirements concern currently mainly the nuclear material and the nuclear facilities and the Consortium experts recommended to review the current legislative and regulatory framework, which will be done through this project, to add requirements for other radioactive material and associated facilities and activities. The Consortium experts also recommended to add or update regulatory documents to include all necessary elements for the safe and secure management of RN materials. This review was highly appreciated by the national experts, as this will provide a solid basis for their future work in this field.
The CNPRI representative presented the processes for authorization, inspection and enforcement. The Consortium experts recommended to develop nuclear security specific inspections with well-trained inspectors.
The CNPRI has developed a partial inventory of RN materials in the country. The Consortium experts recommended to finalize as soon as possible this inventory that is a high priority for the DRC.
The current policy in the DRC for the management of disused sources is the repatriation of the sources to the producer or distributor.
The DRC has a national all hazards emergency response plan and a draft national CBRN emergency response plan (for which a CBRN response team has been assigned) but not yet a national RN emergency response plan. The detection equipment and related training in different institutions were also discussed.
The Consortium experts recommended to extend the list of existing standard procedures to cover all the necessary elements needed for a safe and secure management of RN materials.
It was agreed that additional documents identified during the discussion will be identified during the discussion will be provided to the Consortium experts to have a better insight on the current situation.
At the end of the meeting, the upcoming activities in CoE P60, in which the DRC will be involved, were discussed.