The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health hosted a five-days training workshop on ‘Basic Radiation Safety and the Regulation of Radiation Sources’ from April 16-20, 2018, at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Boardroom, Ganges Street, Sophia. The training saw 50 professionals from the public and private sectors involved in the use of radiation and radioactive sources and its management in attendance. Users from the medical, industrial and agricultural sectors, as well as regulatory bodies in the fields of environment, customs and mining were trained in areas such as: Radiation sources and protection; Legal Framework and Legislation, medical uses, public exposure, transport, industrial uses and consumer products.
Participants were drawn from nine of the 10 administrative Regions. In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Board, Dr. Patrick Williams, encouraged the participants to grasp as much as they can to guard against the dangers of radiation and to have the requisite systems in place to protect human health, biodiversity and the environment.
An overview of the national context was provided by Ms. Tashana Redmond, Senior Environmental Officer, Environmental Protection Agency and Ms. Petal Surujpaul, Medical Physicist, Ministry of Health. Ms Redmond indicated that the EPA currently regulates the Industrial Sources of Radiation while the Ministry of Health has responsibility for the Medical Sources. Guyana is currently implementing Project RLA 9082, on ‘Establishing and Strengthening Sustainable National Regulatory Infrastructures for the Control of Radioactive Sources under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The goal of this project is to build the competence and expertise needed by national regulatory bodies to establish and operate an adequate regulatory programme for the safety and security of radiation sources. This comprehensive and robust training was conducted by Consultants from International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tasos Zodiates, United Kingdom and Bob Irwin, Canada.
Participants received certificates upon successful completion.
Further, recommendations for additional Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory staff in Radiation Protection and Authorisation as well as strengthen capacity for radiation monitoring were made. The need for a Radiation Protection Act and Associated Regulations was also highlighted.