Burundi Officials, P 60 Team Leader discuss the Extension of the Project and the Draft Nuclear Law

During a two-day mission to Burundi, lasting from 12 to 14 February 2020, the Project 60 Team Leader Nicolas Delaunay met officials and experts from the host country to discuss important topics related to the extension of the Project as well as to the setup of the national nuclear and RN legislative framework. The EU Project 60, implemented by ISTC and a Consortium led by ENCO Consultancy, provides support to the EU CBRN Center of Excellence in East and Central Africa in nuclear security matters.

A considerable part of the discussions in Bujumbura focused on the recommendations of the P60 implementing Consortium to improve the draft Nuclear Law of Burundi. The gap analysis developed by the P60 Consortium is a useful tool in this regard. When applied to the draft law, it detects that many important topics are well covered by the current version. However, special attention was needed to clarify some more complicated topics and to explain why the Consortium, after due assessment, recommends to modify some existing articles and to add new ones. The host country representatives recognized that the proposals for modification and introduction of new chapters and articles were very pertinent.

A considerable part of the discussion was dedicated to explaining the four new topics included in the Project 60 extension and their importance, particularly for Burundi.

The first one is the prevention and control of movement of the mobile radioactive sources across the borders. The Team Leader explained that, in order to ensure future successful missions and meetings on this topic, it is expected that the host country representatives will prepare well from their side these events, by thoroughly identifying: (i) the radioactive sources and their location; (ii) all relevant actors involved in the control; (iii) the movements of the mobile radioactive sources across the borders of Burundi; (iv) the existing challenges including insufficient detection equipment,  financial, human and technical resources.

The second topic of the P60 extension relates to improving the detection and prevention of illicit trafficking or RN material within and across the borders of Burundi.

The third topic of P60 extension consists of training the regulatory staff in nuclear security, how to conduct nuclear security inspections and how to train other actors (including operators) in nuclear security. As the regulatory body is yet to be created in Burundi, it will have to be decided whether to await its creation or to start training selected persons in anticipation of the creation of the regulatory body.

The fourth topic of P60 extension also came under scrutiny. It relates to supporting the organization and conduct of a national training course by the already trained experts of Burundi in the 2019 “train the trainers” event within the framework of Project 60. Burundi representatives explained that such a national event is yet to be prepared and conducted with the support of the Consortium.

The participants in the expert discussions represented: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Ambassadors Remy Barampama and Serge Karonkano, the CBRN National Focal Point Rebecca Sibomana and the legal expert Isaac Hacimana; the Ministry of Public Security and Management of Disasters – Commissaire Sosthene Ndayinginga and Gilbert Habonimana; the Ministry of Defence – Dr. Deogratias Bigirindavyi; the Ministry of Transport – Athanase Ndayiriagise; the general hospital of Mpanda – Jocelyne Ndayihimbaze; and the lawyer and local legal expert for Burundi in P60 Jeremie Ntakirutimana.

During the expert mission, the Burundi representatives expressed positive expectations and readiness to prepare themselves in advance in order to be efficient and to benefit from the project’s extension.