Kenya has been chosen to host an intensive post-graduate program on nuclear and radiation safety, which is aimed at professionals from English-speaking African countries. This initiative, led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations affiliate, will be the first of its kind to be held in Kenya, following a successful stint in Ghana. Kenyatta University along with ten other local institutions are eager to facilitate the five-month course starting from October 2023.
In anticipation, the IAEA sent a team to Nairobi to assess Kenya’s readiness for this undertaking. Representatives from Kenyan universities made a strong case, highlighting their well-equipped nuclear science departments and laboratories.
James Keter, Director General of the Kenya Nuclear Regulatory Authority, expressed his pleasure at Kenya being selected, stating that this opportunity comes at a crucial time as the nation is ramping up its efforts to ensure the safe and secure use of nuclear technology.
The proposed training will leverage existing facilities and resources of local universities, with Dr Nadir Hashim of Kenyatta University providing an overview of the nuclear science facilities at the institution.
Prof Augustine Faanu of the Ghana Nuclear Regulatory Authority expressed optimism about the potential success of the program. IAEA also operates other capacity-building schemes, such as the internet reactor lab that provides online access to nuclear education and research facilities in Morocco for students in various African countries.
The upcoming program targets graduates with practical experience in radiation protection, with an initial intake of 25 students. These trainings help nations build a regulatory framework for managing nuclear power plants, aligning with Kenya’s ambitions to operate its first nuclear power plant by 2038.