Necsa has received notice to cease all operations in its active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) production facility at NTP with immediate effect.NTP Radioisotopes made a discovery of procedural deviations related to a set of standard operating protocols – this finding was ‘leaked’ to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR).

As the nuclear licence holder, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), had to halt all productions with immediate effect.

Three of the current senior executives have been placed on special leave during this time to allow thorough investigations to be carried out.

Necsa cooperates: Investigation underway

In accordance with the notification, NTP has developed a multi-pronged action plan for submission to the NNR, Necsa explained in a statement.

Necsa noted that the action plan outlines the steps recommended by NTP to swiftly remedy the situation safely, systemically and completely in order to return to normal operations.

As is standard in events such as the above, a thorough investigation is always a part of the process.

During this time, the NTP Radioisotopes board has appointed Thabo Tselane – Group Chief Technology Officer of Necsa, a previous board member of NTP, as the interim group Managing Director of NTP.

This allows for complete independence in the investigation as well as transparency in the process.

Phumzile Tshelane, Necsa Group Chief Executive Officer said: “Necsa continues to hold safety as its primary imperative.

“It is in light of this that any directive from the NNR to further improve our operating standard procedures is taken seriously.”

Tshelane added: “The NNR is mandated to regulate and uphold the highest levels of safety at all times during nuclear operations. Necsa is therefore committed to these standards and will resolve all matters related to this incident as raised by the NNR swiftly”.

NTP continues to be in very capable hands and Necsa is confident that operations will resume as soon as is possible.

Featured image: Stock