Rosatom: African Nations on the Way Toward Progress in Nuclear Science and Technologies
The times when nuclear technologies were affordable only for superpowers have gone long ago. Today more and more developing countries around the globe are opting for developing nuclear technologies to make them an integral part of national development and economic empowerment.
African countries are not an exception and make significant steps in nuclear science development under tactful guidance of IAEA and its key Member States.
IAEA constantly organizes special trainings and courses for African professionals from the whole continents to gain relative knowledge and skills in nuclear field. Just this week, in Sudan IAEA held a workshop nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness for more than 300 participants from the continent.
The results of some East African countries are indeed substantial. With the help of international trainings and assistance now Tanzanian doctors are able to deliver more precise radiation cancer treatment with no harm for healthy tissue through 3D scanning.
“We now have the skills to more fully understand the extent of a tumour and ultimately plan better and more precise treatment for our patients,“ said Mark Mseti, a radiation oncologist at the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in the capital Dar es Salaam, which receives technical support and equipment through the IAEA. Previously, Mark participated in an IAEA training on 3D planning for target volume definition and contouring for radiotherapy.
The IAEA supports its Member States, like Tanzania, to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases like cancer. To this end the IAEA offers trainings, coordinates research, provides equipment and technical expertise and hosts scientific fellows, among other services.
IAEA is not alone in these efforts to strengthen the nuclear infrastructure of developing countries. IAEA and Russian Rosatom have reached an agreement aimed at bolstering IAEA assistance to Member States that are considering introducing nuclear power or expanding an existing programme.
In neighboring Zambia the international assistance also led to drastic improvements in medical sector. The country will expand its cancer treatment facilities and the officials are planning to launch an ambitious project to expand medical services in the country given the successful operation of Cancer Diseases Hospital, that treated 16 000 people during the last decade.
“Without the assistance of the IAEA, it would have been very difficult for us to set up a highly technical centre like this one and care for so many patients,” said Lewis Banda, the CDH’s Senior Medical Superintendent.
The development of nuclear science made it possible for Zambia to make gains in improving the living standards of people. In this context Zambian government decided to embark on the way of own nuclear science and technologies in collaboration with Russia and Rosatom. The parties already signed several agreements to start construction of Zambian Centre for Nuclear Science and Technologies, which will be equipped with laboratories and functional systems for scientific research as well as multi-purpose research reactor.
The Center will make possible to do research in radiobiology sphere and establish production of radioisotopes in Zambia for wide application in cancer diagnostics and treatment. It will also service for staff training for the local nuclear industry.
For her part IAEA Cancer expert Kristen Hopkins highly estimated the Zambian strife for nuclear development, mentioning that Zambia has an excellent team and clear picture to develop nuclear medicine sphere in coming years.
This shows that African countries are well on the way of nuclear development, which will bring long-term social and economic benefits as well as sustainable energy.
ROSATOM is energy corporation with 350 enterprises and scientific institutions. ROSATOM is №1 in the world simultaneously implementing projects of NPPs construction.