Boukthir underscores importance of African cooperation in nuclear energy field

Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Moncef Boukthir on Monday underscored the importance of African cooperation and sharing of experience between African countries and international institutions in the nuclear energy field to improve the quality of training programmes and knowledge of the best technologies.

Speaking at the opening of the Regional Training Course on Introduction to Design and Evaluation of Physical Protection Systems for Radioactive Material and Associated Facilities, hosted by Tunis on February 26-March 1, he called for the establishment of a legal and regulatory framework in line with international standards for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technologies.

The minister pointed out in this regard, the need to build capacities and develop human resources in the field of security and physical protection of radioactive material and associated facilities, according to a department press release.

Boukthir further reaffirmed Tunisia’s firm commitment to the principles o
f safety, security, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, recalling that Tunisia had been among the first African countries to benefit from the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and technologies since its independence, and that it had joined the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from its inception.

Besides, the minister commended the level of cooperation between Tunisia and the IAEA, particularly as part of the national strategy to develop nuclear science and technology, underlining that cooperation between the two sides is based on upgrading nuclear infrastructure and developing regulatory and legal frameworks, improving nuclear safety standards and sharing experience in various fields, including scientific research and technological development.

Taking the floor, security expert at the IAEA Nafaa Rakiki pointed out that the international community is becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect radioactive material from growing threats, not least because the issue o
f nuclear security is of global concern and there is a growing awareness of the potential effects of the harmful use of radioactive material.

He indicated that the IAEA has recently launched training sessions on nuclear security and on several projects such as the Regulatory Infrastructure Development Project (RIDP), including the current session.

Some forty experts from 18 francophone African countries are taking part in this regional training course organised by the IAEA in partnership with the National Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology.




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