New networks to support the safe transport of radioactive material in Europe and in the Mediterranean region
Whether moved over the sea, over the road or through the air—each day thousands of packages of radioactive materials are transported around the world. Radioactive material shipments are vital to the development and advancement of technologies that benefit the global community in areas such as medicine, agriculture, hydrology, geology, industry, research and the environment. Transport in general, and of radioactive materials in particular, is truly a global enterprise, involving all regions of the world. Problems with transport in one region of the world can directly impact another region on the other side of the globe, making this a truly inter-regional challenge. International transport of radioactive materials therefore requires that all countries cooperate to ensure that safety and security standards, practices and regulations are applied consistently; the IAEA promotes strong Member State collaboration and engagement at all levels: national, regional and international.
At a meeting held in Vienna on 5 November 2015, Mr Juan Carlos Lentijo, Head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security met with Mr Jarlath Duffy, Chairman of the European Association of Competent Authorities (EACA) and Mrs Stavroula Vogiatzi, the newly appointed Chair of the Mediterranean Network (Med Net). Both networks share the same vision: the safe transport of radioactive material.
"This partnership is essential for the efficient implementation of the transport regulatory system…and is essential to enhancing the regional networks' visibility and key to improving transport safety and security worldwide." Said Mr. Lentijo.
The EACA/Med Net association is an important example of how national regulators continue to harmonise their approach for the interpretation and implementation of the IAEA's Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material. It also provides an example of the transport safety regulatory community collaborating and working more closely together on the practicalities of regulatory oversight, and developing ways to ensure that safety remains the number one priority so that the multinational public can have confidence in and accept the critical need to continue the transport of radioactive material. This is particularly important because the transport of radioactive goods is a global process that can involve several countries.
The European Association of Competent Authorities currently comprises 23 European countries (including Norway and Switzerland) that have participated and contributed to the meetings and work programmes of the Association since its formation in 2008. The present Chairman is Mr Jarlath Duffy from the Environmental Protection Agency (Ireland). He was Chairman of IAEA Transport Safety Standards Committee (TRANSSC) from 2005 until 2007.
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