Posted on August 06, 2018

A regional workshop on the employment and training strategy for radiation regulatory authorities, organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), began on Sunday.

A total of 40 trainees from Asian and Pacific member countries, as well as Radiation Protection Department staff from the ministry, are participating in the workshop being conducted by IAEA's experts. 

In his address at the opening of the workshop, Assistant Undersecretary for Environmental Affairs at the Ministry and the State of Qatar's National Focal Point with the IAEA, Eng Ahmed Mohammed al Sada praised the Agency's active role and its continuous effort in enhancing security and radiological and nuclear safety and in promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The aim of this workshop is to provide practical guidance to officials on the development of the employment and training strategy through recommendations to the regulatory bodies on their structure and management. It also aims at training and qualifying their staff to support them in discharging their responsibilities in an independent and effective manner, taking into account the need for a phased approach according to the national circumstances and the radiation risks associated with the facilities and activities in the State, Eng Sada said. 

Safety expert at the IAEA, Dr Ibrahim Abdelrahim Shaddad, said that the workshop aims at enhancing the member states regulatory bodies' understanding of how to organise their work and providing them with competent qualified personnel to carry out their supervisory functions efficiently and effectively. Dr Shaddad added that another objective of the workshop is to provide guidance on how to develop and implement an integrated management system for core operations that help the regulatory body in performing its duties, as well as for the management and support operations required for the operation of the system and the development of programmes to train and qualify employees.

On the sidelines of the opening session, Dr Shaddad told Qatar News Agency (QNA) that Qatar attaches great importance to the proper use of radiological energy, noting the close and important cooperation between Qatar and the IAEA in several projects dealing with radiation safety, environment, agriculture and others for human and animal protection. He added that those who worked in this field in the country and other participants from Asian countries will benefit greatly from the workshop in terms of promoting work in the field of radiation protection, raise the efficiency of the regulatory bodies for radiation work and to ensure the safety of radiological uses completely. 

Director of the Radiation and Chemicals Protection Department at the MME, Aisha Ahmed al Baker said that the ministry is responsible for monitoring the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in Qatar, noting that the main responsibilities of the department are to supervise all radiological practices in the country in all fields, industrial, medical, research and security and ensure the application of the best international standards for security and radiation safety and nuclear in Qatar. Baker added that the department also supervises and regulates the circulation of radioactive sources at all stages from its entry to the State, to its transfer, storage, use and disposal by re-exporting them to home country to protect the human and the environment from the harm caused to it without hindering its beneficial and safe use.

During the opening session, Baker added that the department is endeavouring to promote a culture of radiation and nuclear safety and security and to monitor the peaceful uses of nuclear energy through a series of national and regional projects and plans with the participation of national stakeholders and in cooperation with the IAEA, as well as international bilateral cooperation with relevant organisations, with a view to building capacity, training human cadres, providing equipment and devices, establishing laws, regulations and instructions, setting procedures, standards and guidelines.

She explained that in order to achieve all this, the department depends on the fulfilment of its responsibilities to a large extent. She noted that the department conducts periodic and sudden inspection of facilities operating in the field of radiation through field visits to facilities which contain radioactive sources, whether radioactive or radiation-emitting devices, to ensure compliance with their security and safety standards. In order to achieve all this, she said that the department depends on the fulfilment of its responsibilities, pointing out that it conducts periodic and sudden inspection of facilities operating in the field of radiation to ensure their compliance with their security and safety standards.

She also addressed the role of the radiological laboratory in providing radiological monitoring data in the Qatari environment, including plant, soil and water, and measuring the radiation levels of some imported industrial materials in order to support environmental authorities and enforce radiation laws, as well as controlling doses of radiation in workers to ensure that they are not exposed to radiation that exceeds the limit for their own safety. Baker emphasised the importance of this workshop in developing programmes to train and qualify the participants and establishing an integrated administrative system to enable the concerned parties to perform their responsibilities more efficiently and effectively.