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Nuclear security in Burkina Faso observed by IAEA advisory mission

On request from the Burkina Faso government, an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts completed a nuclear security advisory mission to the country.

The IAEA mission included four experts from Lebanon, Niger, Senegal and the Agency. The team observed that Burkina Faso has established a nuclear security regime with essential elements of the IAEA’s guidance on the fundamentals of nuclear security.

Good practices were identified that can serve as examples to other IAEA Member States to help strengthen their nuclear security activities. While recommendations and suggestions were offered by the team to support Burkina Faso in further enhancing and sustaining nuclear security.

The scope of the two-week International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) mission included the legislative and regulatory framework for the security of radioactive material, regulatory practices (licensing, inspections and enforcement) and coordination between all stakeholders involved in nuclear security.

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The team met in the capital Ouagadougou with officials from the Ministry of the Environment, as well as with representatives of other relevant ministries and governmental organisations, including the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, Gendarmerie, National Intelligence, National Police, Customs, Civil Protection and the National Radiation Protection and the Nuclear Safety Authority (ARSN).

As part of the review, the team visited six facilities where radioactive sources are in use, including the Nantou Mining Company, two medical facilities, a construction laboratory and two research centres.

Elena Buglova, Director of the IAEA Division of Nuclear Security, said: “The IPPAS team compared Burkina Faso’s nuclear security regime against the CPPNM and its 2005 amendment, the IAEA Code of Conduct on the Safety and Security of Radiative Sources, and IAEA nuclear security guidance.

“By hosting the IPPAS mission and following up on its findings, Burkina Faso demonstrates its strong commitment to nuclear security and its continued enhancement.”

The conduct of the mission included a review of the security systems and practices in place at selected facilities. In August 2014, Burkina Faso ratified the 2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM), and its incorporation into the country’s nuclear security regime was also included in the scope of the mission.

Martial Zoungrana, Director National at ARSN, said: “The IPPAS review mission findings will help us to strengthen our legislative and regulatory framework and to implement security upgrades at our facilities.

“The recommendations and suggestions of the IPPAS mission will contribute to improving the nuclear security regime of Burkina Faso, and we will do our best to implement these recommendations in close cooperation with IAEA”.

View the IAEA’s guidance on the fundamentals of nuclear security.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
Nicolette is the Editor of ESI Africa print journal, ESI-Africa.com and the annual African Power & Energy Elites. She is passionate about placing African countries on the international stage and is driven by the motto "The only way to predict the future is to create it". Join her in creating a sustainable future through articles and multimedia content.