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Nuclear safety to start food monitoring

21,Dec 2016
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By Michael Bockarie

Manager and head of Nuclear Safety Source Search and Radioactive Waste Management Department in Sierra Leone has told AYV that they will soon start to monitor food and other consumables entering the country from Asia.

Abdulaie Abass Kargbo, who works at the country’s Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority, NSRPA, made the statement in an exclusive interview with this medium at their Percival Street office in Freetown.

He recalled that since they were established by the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Act of 2012, they had functioned to protect people and their environment from the harmful effects of the ionizing or non-ionizing radiation.

“This is paramount in on our agenda, considering that Sierra Leone as a largely importing country of foodstuffs and other consumables, especially from Asian countries.

He recalled that in 2011 the Fukushima accident that took place in Japan created some growing concern of radioactive contamination of foodstuffs and other consumable coming from that direction.

The manager further stated that because most of the rice imported into Sierra Leone was from Thailand, India, and Pakistan, which were also part of Asia and that there was always the need to ensure that those items were free from radiation threat.

He said to kickstart the process that was why they had to take part the regional training course on measurement of naturally occurring radio nuclides in the environment by Gamma Spectrometry held in Karlsruhe, Germany between 28 November to 2 December 2016.

Mr. Kargbo said that the training course was organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in cooperation with the Government of Germany through the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT).

He said the purpose of the course was to enhance skills and knowledge on fundamentals of the measurement of naturally occurring radionuclide in environmental and NORM sample by Gama Spectrometry.

He stated that the course focused on the practical implementation of the techniques in radio-analytical laboratories and the reliable measurement of the most commonly analysed radio nuclides, adding that upon completion of the course the participants would be able to apply gamma spectrometry.

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