Project 60: Progress Achieved and Perspectives in Zambia

On 3 February 2021, ISTC took part in a video discussion among the Project 60 (P60) Team of experts and representatives of the Zambia Radiation Protection Authority (RPA), dedicated to the remaining actions for completion of the first stage of P60, and the problems of nuclear security of radioactive sources, including mobile sources, measures to prevent illicit trafficking, and other objectives of the Project’s second phase.

The ENCO legal experts reviewed the 2011 Ionizing Radiation Protection Act, and other regulatory documents, presented by the Zambian side, and provided recommendations from security point of view. They also assessed the existing national capabilities for the safe and secure management, control and storage of radioactive sources and provided guidelines and templates on standard operational procedures and RN emergency response plan.

Due to its geographical position Zambia has a central role to play with respect to the prevention and control of movements of the mobile radioactive sources across borders. On the national scale, RPA has concluded agreements with the Customs, the Road Transport Safety Agency and some training institutions, respectively, on exchange of information and joint approaches to prevent illicit movement of radioactive sources. Zambia is predisposed to favor regional arrangements on information sharing, joint and coordinated control and verification of source shipments as well as the coordination of investigations on mobile sources inventories. A first step in that regard is the MoU with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

To illustrate that regional cooperation is useful, and, in fact, indispensable, Zambia seeks to increase its own inspections capabilities through the training Project 60 provides and the assistance for the setup of a national mobile emergency support team. Moreover, Zambia is prepared to work with neighboring countries to man jointly patrol teams for cross border control. This readiness was amply manifested when RPA organized in August 2019, in Livingston, a training course to share with colleagues from DRC and Zimbabwe the knowledge and skills acquired in the P 60 Train-the-Trainer course, particularly through the module on safety and security of the transportation of uranium ore.