SWAKOPMUND: Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Willem Isaacks officially opened the fourth Forum of Nuclear Regulatory Bodies in Africa (FNRBA) conference here on Monday.
The week-long conference, which is sponsored by the United States of America Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will amongst other things focus on the application of quality management requirements in the lifecycle of nuclear power plants and the fundamentals of nuclear reactor regulations.
The conference will also serve as a training workshop for members of the thematic working group on regulatory infrastructure for nuclear power plants on the fundamentals of reactor regulations, nuclear quality assurance and codes and standards.
The working group consists of 16 participating countries of which 22 delegates will be representing Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Tunisia.
The working group seeks to assist participating members by moving towards convergence on regulatory standards, increase stakeholders’ understanding of regulatory practices and enhance regulatory cooperation.
Speaking during the official opening, Isaacks indicated that the ministry is proud to note that Namibia is an active member of the working group who will be assisting member states to increase stakeholder understanding on the regulatory practices of nuclear technology.
“As a country, we are ambitious to address our perennial electricity generation capacity shortfall challenges by seriously considering nuclear power generation, as Namibia is currently the fourth largest producer of uranium, the primary nuclear energy resource,” he said.
The deputy minister stated that the foundation which valuable regulatory exercises can be built on is the development and sustaining of sound national regulatory infrastructures.
The regulatory infrastructure will include national regulatory standards and bodies that are equipped to effectively and efficiently implement regulatory control over the application of nuclear technology.
Isaacks added that through the collaboration of all partners, including the support of development partners, the ministry is confident that the challenges Namibia face in its long-term strategic development can be overcome.
“We take the opportunity of nuclear power generation serious and are ready to patiently go through the requisite developmental stages with the assistance of local, regional and international experts, including the big minds gathered here today,” he said.
The conference will be followed by a planning meeting where the working group will discuss its activities.