On 9 July 2021, the Project 60 Steering Committee held online its ninth meeting. Both the external circumstances of pandemic restrictions and the internal dynamics of Project 60, entering decisive phase of implementation, motivated the Project’s governing body to take stock of the accomplishments and to refocus and rearrange the roadmap for the next year and a half.
The deliberations covered a broad agenda, ranging from an upcoming regulatory review workshop and arrangements for information sharing on mobile radioactive sources, through training exercises for nuclear security inspectors and trainings for regulators, operators, customs and border guards, to courses on safe uranium transportation and Project 60 presentation at side events of international conferences.
The overall observation about the Project’s implementation was that the main specific objectives are successfully pursued and in many aspects already achieved for the first phase of the project. The second stage implies enhanced regional cooperation to prevent illicit trafficking of radioactive materials through border monitoring, and the creation and training of mobile teams for coordinated inspections. Safe and secure transportation of nuclear and other radioactive materials is a regional concern for Eastern and Central Africa and not a one-country issue.
In his remarks Joseph Maina, Head of the Regional Secretariat of the EU CBRN Center of Excellence, expressed appreciation for the valuable contributions Project 60 has already made to the nuclear security in the region, but pointed out that more developed infrastructure and training program are needed to adequately meet the regional requirements. In his turn, ISTC Executive Director David Cleave underlined that sustainability is in the hands of the nuclear regulators in the participating African countries that Project 60 seeks to support in capacity building and performance.