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Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Radiation safety conference kicks off

Radiation safety conference kicks off

Story by Memory Chamisa

THE government is implementing strategies to ensure the safe disposal of radioactive waste for the benefit of the public and to protect the environment.

The management of radiation-emitting material has been identified as a matter of concern that needs proper management to protect workers, the public, future generations and the environment from excessive radiation.

Stakeholders attending the Radiation Safety Conference in Harare spoke on the importance of conscientising the public on the risk of radiation exposure and proper waste management.

“There is a need to have proper disposal of radiation waste and in the mining industry we ensure that workers are protected from exposure this conference also enables us to take stock of the new regulations and Acts in place in terms of the use of nuclear energy,” said Freda Rebecca goldmine mine manager, Dr Alfred Chinyere.

“In the medical field, one ought to be careful when handling radioactive machines. From x-ray machines to the ones used for cancer treatment there is a need for measurement of dosage so that when is not exposed to more than required. Even with the use of microwaves, people ought to know the side effects that come with technology,” said Miss Ruvimbo Mutyasira a radiographer.

The Minister of Energy and Power Development, Honourable Edgar Moyo highlighted the government’s commitment to setting up infrastructure for radiation waste management.

“This conference is an important platform for stakeholders to discuss the latest trends in the radiation industry and safety. We must work together on the harmful effects of radiation. Currently, there are 852 facilities in the radiation industry in the country. The use of radiation technology brings with it risks to health and environment management and the review of the Radiation Act is part of the target of the NDS1,” he said.

Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe Board chairperson, Dr Anne Mary Nyakabau stressed the importance of such conferences in improving performance and enhancing competencies in radiation use.

“Disposal of radioactive waste in the public domain is undertaken by the management of these wastes covers the entire range of activities right from handling, treatment, conditioning, transport, storage and disposal. Public acceptance of nuclear energy largely depends on the public assurance for safe management of radioactive wastes,” she said.

Radioactive waste can be in gas, liquid or solid form, and its level of radioactivity varies.

If not properly handled, it can cause cancer and the waste can remain radioactive for a few hours, months or thousands of years.

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