IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency

01/06/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/06/2020 09:51

The Democratic Republic of the Congo seeks to Expand Nuclear Applications, Strengthen its Nuclear Legal Framework, with IAEA Support

From 16 to 19 December 2019, a meeting was held at IAEA Headquarters in Vienna with a high-level delegation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to assist the country in its efforts to bring its national nuclear legal framework in line with the latest international safety and security standards.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been working with the Agency to improve its legislative framework, consistent with its plans and projects for the further development of nuclear applications, particularly in the area of health and radiotherapy services and in the agriculture sector. The country currently has also two research reactors, TRICO I in permanent shutdown and TRICO II in extended shutdown for which a restart process is anticipated.

During the meeting, which involved Agency experts from the Office of Legal Affairs and the Departments of Nuclear Safety and Security and Technical Cooperation, draft legislative proposals were reviewed and discussed, covering all relevant aspects of nuclear safety, security, safeguards, and nuclear liability.

The delegation composed of representatives from the Ministry of Scientific Research and of Technological Innovation, the General Commission of Atomic Energy (CGEA) and the National Committee of Protection against Ionizing Radiation (CNPRI) expressed appreciation for the support provided. 'The discussions with the IAEA experts have been very fruitful and will be helpful for the finalization of the project. We are working to improve our framework to ensure a safe future in the use of nuclear technology in the Democratic Republic of the Congo', said CNPRI President Florimond Nyamoga Kabanda. 'We are also in the process of joining several treaties and conventions for safety and security', he added.

Wolfram Tonhauser, Section Head of IAEA's Nuclear and Treaty Law Section, Office of Legal Affairs, explained that this meeting was being held within the framework of the Agency's legislative assistance programme. 'The aim is to help Member States build strong national legal frameworks, which are needed for the safe, secure and peaceful conduct of activities involving nuclear technology in order to ensure the protection of people and the environment', he said.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has been receiving legislative assistance since 2017 through technical cooperation projects supporting African Member States in developing and enhancing their national legal infrastructures.