The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) has asked manufacturers and suppliers of radioactive devices to strictly comply with international and national standards by providing equipment that meet safety requirements.
Radioactive devices are materials that give off electromagnetic radiations.
Those materials are used in medical, industrial, commercial and consumer devices, including x-ray machines, infrared and visible light, radio waves, microwaves, nuclear gauges and smoke detectors.
The authority has also urged all institutions that make use of radiations and radioactive devices to ensure that they receive authorisation from the NRA before using such equipment.
The directive by the NRA is meant to protect members of the public from the harmful effect of radiation and radioactive devices.
The Head of the Radiological Applications Department of the NRA, Dr. Cyrus Cyril Arwui, made that call at a webinar organised by the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) yesterday.
The webinar is an innovative forum held fortnightly for the six agencies under MESTI to interact with the public and showcase the services they provide as mandated by law.
Yesterday’s event, the fifth in the series, was on the topic: “Protecting yourself from radiation”.
It focused on the mandate of the NRA as spelt out in the NRA Act, 2016 (Act 895).
Dr. Arwui said the NRA had a seamless system that made it possible to monitor and enforce compliance in the use of radiation and radioactive devices in industries such as mining, health, agriculture, research and communications.
To consolidate the gains, he urged all persons and stakeholders within the value chain to play their roles appropriately to mitigate the negative impact of radiation on humans and the environment.
For instance, he called on licensees (authorised institutions), radiation protection officers, manufacturers and members of the public to play their respective roles to protect people from experiencing the negative effects of radiation.
For manufacturers and suppliers in particular, he said any radioactive material they wanted to supply for use in the country must meet both national and international standards so that such equipment would not unduly expose members of the public to dangers.
He urged them to comply with the regulatory regime that required the provision of detailed use and maintenance instructions on the equipment in the preferred language of every country.
Aside providing technical support, he also urged the suppliers to “promptly investigate and rectify problems reported with equipment”.
Dr. Arwui cautioned members of the public to prioritise their personal safety by ensuring that they only patronised facilities that had authorisation to use radiation and radioactive devices.
He emphasised the need for members of the public to watch out for certification of facilities before patronising them.
“For safety reasons, you must ensure that any facility you patronise is authorised to operate. The owners are required to display the certificates on their premises so demand it to be sure you’re not compromising your safety,” he said.
In a speech read on his behalf, the MESTI Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, said given the important role radioactive devices played in service delivery in essential industries, it was important for stakeholders to collaborate to optimise their use.
He asked the NRA to continue to deploy innovative ways of monitoring the use of radiation and radioactive devices in a manner that would be beneficial to the country.