Zambia participated at the just ended Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Science and Technology, which took place in Vienna, Austria from 28th to 30th November, 2018. The Conference focused on addressing the current and emerging development challenges using Nuclear Applications.
The Zambian delegation, led by the Secretary to Cabinet, Dr. Roland Msiska, comprised officials from Ministry of Higher Education, University of Zambia, Copperbelt University and University Teaching Hospital. The Zambian Ministerial Statement delivered by the Secretary to the Cabinet, Dr. Roland Msiska, highlighted Zambia’s experiences in nuclear science and technology applications that have contributed significantly to socio economic development over the past 50 years of being a Member State of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He informed the Conference that Zambia commenced the process of transforming the Radiation Protection Authority (RPA) to an autonomous institution that will effectively regulate the heightened nuclear program activities in Zambia in the area of radiation protection and nuclear safety. In the health sector, the IAEA has chosen Zambia Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH) as an IAEA training Centre of Excellence in radiotherapy.
The CDH is currently, providing training fellowships to a number of students from other countries. In the area of food safety and security, Zambia has developed six (06) varieties of beans through induced mutation using gamma radiation, which are drought tolerant, high yield and disease resistant. These varieties will soon be released on the market to contribute to food security particularly in drought prone areas. The IAEA is also providing support in the development of guidelines for environmental radioactivity monitoring for Regulatory Authorities in Zambia.
In the area of energy, Zambia is pursuing nuclear science and technology as part of the diversified and sustainable energy mix for socio–economic development. In this context, Zambia is working in partnership with ROSATOM of the Russian Federation to develop the Center for Nuclear Science and Technology and eventually the Nuclear Power Plant.
Zambia is also expanding the implementation of the IAEA supported project on capacity building in environmental radioactivity monitoring of waste in mining areas.
Further, Zambia expressed appreciation to the IAEA for the continued support given through the provision of research equipment to a number of Research and Development Institutions in the country, including in the area of medicine, agriculture, and higher learning institutions.
The Ministerial Conference acknowledged the contribution of, and potential for the applications of nuclear science and technology to meet a wide variety of basic socio-economic and human development needs. The Conference recognized the contribution of IAEA in promoting the safe applications of nuclear science and technology in areas such as energy, materials, industry, environment, food and agriculture, nutrition, health and water resources, thus improving the quality of life.