Seychelles has joined three other countries in a regional workshop to develop a road map for building a national security detection architecture for nuclear and other radioactive materials out of regulatory control.
The event, which is hosted by Seychelles from June 20-24, is organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in collaboration with Seychelles’ Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs. Also participating are Mauritius, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to IAEA, the development of a national roadmap to establish a security detection architecture for nuclear materials and others that are radioactive applies to materials that have been reported as being out of regulatory control as well as those lost, missing or stolen but not reported as such.
Speaking to the press, a senior officer at the department of employment, Stephanie Boniface, said “the aim of the workshop is to allow us to have a strategy in place to ensure that if at any moment these materials are discovered, they can be dealt with safely.”
The event, which is hosted by Seychelles from June 20-24, is organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
She added that “despite the fact that Seychelles does not have such materials in great quantity in the country, we never really know what might happen considering that our country consists of numerous islands with a great water surface. The workshop is an opportune time to establish our status as a country when it comes to security and be able to establish what we need additionally.”
The employment ministry is the body that deals with radiation safety in Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. Boniface shared that the health ministry is the body with the most pieces of equipment that emit radiation.
Nuclear security seeks to prevent, detect and respond to criminal and international unauthorised acts involving or directed at nuclear and other radioactive materials, associated facilities and activities.
The director for labour monitoring and compliance at the employment department, Tara Diallo, said that the possibility that nuclear or radioactive materials could be used for malicious purposes is existent.
“This calls for a collective commitment to control and accountancy for such materials. Sharing of knowledge and experience, coordination among states, and collaborations with other international organisations, initiatives, and industries also support an effective regional and international nuclear security framework,” said Diallo.
The delegation of Seychelles attending the workshop consists of representatives from agencies involved in the control and detection of such materials, as well as those responsible to respond in eventualities.
These include the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (SMSA), the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC), the Department of Employment, and the Department of Risk and Disaster Management (DRMD).