Adopt Non Destructive Testing to avoid gas disasters – Atomic Energy to Industries

The National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has called for the use of Non Destructive Testing (NDT) Technology in industry to avoid potential disasters.

Director of Institute, Dr. Gorman Ofosu said the solution to the incessant gas and fuel station explosions in the country to some extent lies with NDT technology.

Speaking at a forum last Wednesday at the Ghana Institute of Engineers and Planners in Accra to introduce NDT technology to some engineers and key industry stakeholders, he threw light on unprofessional practices in the sector.

According to him, most artisans especially welders are not privy to NDT technology to test the integrity of their welds which exposes the public to danger.

He disclosed that aside from outreach programmes organized by his outfit to educate field experts, GAEC’s Technology Transfer and Marketing Centre (TTMC) are also working to spread the word.

This is being done in collaboration with COTVET and support from the Dutch Government, is currently running a Competence Based Training Programme (CBT) for artisans in some professions including Welding, across the country with emphases on NDT Technology.

Dr Ofosu was confident that the risks associated with the conventional method will be reduced through consistent education of artisans and experts in the industry.

A former Deputy Director of NNRI-GAEC, Dr Kweku Aboagye Danso, said that NDT is a nuclear application used to detect hidden cracks and leakages in gas pipelines, fuel tanks, aircrafts and Mining installations among others.

According to him, the technology has a proven high level of efficiency for the early detection of leakages and corrosion in underground and surface pipelines. This, he said, will help avoid disasters as a result of leakages.

He advised that precautionary measures are taken to manage the situation since cracks and rust in tanks and pipelines are not easily identified.

A Senior Research Scientist, Dr Hannah Affum of GAEC also stated that the Commission is well positioned to meet the quality assurance and control as well as materials testing needs of Ghanaian processing and manufacturing industries.


GAEC Targets Major Improvements in Health and Agriculture

The five years Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has targeted improvements in the Health and Agriculture sectors in Ghana.

The CSP that will be GAEC’s  strategic operational document till December 2021 as part of it’s focused areas will facilitate the Establishment of Strategic National Facilities and Institutions.

The Director of Administration at GAEC, Mr. Felix Adeku in an interview disclosed that the commission would see to the building and supply of state-of-the art equipment for a Radiological Emergency Centre (REC) at GAEC as per the CSP’s objective.  He added that the Commission would facilitate the construction of a Radiotherapy and Nuclear Imaging Facility at GAEC.

‘GAEC would also facilitate the building of two Radiotherapy centers in Tamale and Takoradi.’ He revealed.  This he said would help give a major boost to the health sector of Ghana as far as the treatment of cancer and other related diseases are concerned.

Addressing some key challenges in Ghana’s Agriculture sector, Mr. Adeku disclosed that the Commission would enter into Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to establish a Gamma Irradiation Facility for food preservation against post-harvest losses. He added that the facility would also be used for sterilizing medical equipment in those key locations in Ghana

On his part, the Director General (DG) of GAEC Prof. Benjamin Nyarko is optimistic that the CSP will encourage the development and management of high-level human resource at all levels by providing training and education in nuclear and allied sciences for national development.

According to the DG, GAEC is in a process of upgrading the graduate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS) to a fully-fledged University to intensify training within the five-year period.

Finally, he appealed to the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to grant SNAS a presidential charter to enable it run as an autonomous University that undertakes Nuclear Science and Technology in Ghana.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) –  GAEC

GAEC Trains Ghana Air Force in Non- Destructive Testing (NDT) Technology

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has equipped officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), (Air Force Division) with skills on Non – Destructive Testing (NDT) techniques to ensure quality in the discharge of their duties.

The training programme that was spearheaded by the GAEC Technology Transfer and Marketing Centre (TTMC) hosted ten (10) participants from the Armed Forces.  It is part of a comprehensive approach to improve quality and reliability in the inspection of welded materials within the oil and gas, mining and manufacturing industries in Ghana.

Engineers, Managers, Supervisors, Quality Control administrators, Condition Monitoring Technicians, Engineering Technicians, and individuals who see to the maintenance of plants and equipment were the main targets for the programme.

Aside from officers from GAF, staff from Providence Industrial Services limited and other individuals were part of the 5 day intensive training programme.

The participants were taken through techniques including; Penetrant Testing, Magnetic Particle Testing, Alternative Ultrasonic Testing and Radiographic Testing.

The Director of the National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI) of GAEC, Dr. Francis Gorman Ofosu, noted that the training programme was part of an agenda to improve quality service delivery as well as skills within the NDT industry nationwide.

He added that the training of engineers and technicians would soon be intensified across the country.

Dr. Ofosu advised engineers form the Air Force to take advantage of the knowledge acquired to do a thorough Non – Destructive Testing on their aircrafts before they take off.

Sharing his experience from the training programme, the leader of the trainees Squadron Leader Saah Ampene of the Ghana Air force expressed joy at the high level of knowledge acquired in NDT applications.

He advised that enough Public awareness be created through the media (electronic and print), to encourage the participation of all relevant industry players in the country.

He was confident that imparting this skill to the professionals will help transform Ghana’s engineering and welding sector.

The leader expressed gratitude to management and promised to return for more when the opportunity avails itself.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) –  GAEC

Competent Based Training Programme Complements Government’s Capacity Building Agenda – GAEC

The Director of Administration at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Mr. Felix Adeku, has stated that the Commission’s Competent Based Training (CBT) Programme to equip informal sector workers is in line with the president’s vision for job creation.

The Director disclosed this in his address at the opening ceremony of the second edition of the CBT programme for vocational workers in the area of Electronics.

The progrmme is held in partnership with GAEC Technology Transfer and Marketing Centre (TTMC) and the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) with support from the German Government.

Speaking on some core functions of GAEC, Mr. Adeku stated that the Commission seeks to encourage and promote the commercialization of Research and Development (R&D) results through its institutes, with the help of the Technology Transfer and Marketing Centre (TTMC).

He added that the contract arrangement signed by GAEC and COTVET since October, 2017 requires that GAEC trains informal sector workers in the areas of Welding and Electronics to international standards.

He indicated that this initiative adopts market driven approach to science technology and research.

“We wish to assure learners of quality technical training to improve standards in the industry”, he said.

He advised participants not to hesitate to report issues that will mar the future of the programme for immediate redress. He added that the programme be taken seriously in order to reflect in their performance.

Mr. Isaac Boateng of the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Voucher project advised participants to eschew absenteeism and laziness. This he said may affect negatively, the chances of the programme being funded in future due to bad report.

He was thankful to the Government of Ghana, the German Government and COTVET for introducing Ghana Training Voucher Programme (GTVP) to refine the skills of the informal sector workers.

He further advised the participants to take the programme seriously in order to transform the informal sector with the acquired knowledge.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) –  GAEC

Ghana’s Cancer Death Toll on the Rise – GAEC

A Senior Research Scientist at the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has disclosed that the death toll associated with Cancers in Ghana is on the rise due to inadequate information and improper management of these cancers.

Dr. Francis Hasford disclosed this in a lecture delivered at the monthly GAEC seminar series on the topic “Managing Cancer with radiation: is Ghana on Track?”

According to him, the rate of cancer incidence in Europe and other parts of the Western World is higher compared to Ghana, but usually records low deaths due to adequate information and effective management of the disease.

Speaking on Ghana’s situation with respect to cancer treatment, he disclosed that over 4 million people compete for one Radiotherapy machine nationwide, which he described as unfortunate.  He added that the situation has mostly led to a frequent breakdown of the treatment facilities due to intense pressure.

“So far Ghana has only 3 Radiotherapy facilities for cancer treatment. One is situated at Korle bu Teaching Hospital and another at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital with one being a private facility”, he said.

Dr. Hasford who is also a lecturer at the Gradate School of Nuclear and Allied Sciences (SNAS), suggested that Ghana must adopt a national strategy for cancer management in order to control the situation.

Giving some statistics on cancer cases recorded in 2017, Dr. Hasford revealed that out of a total of 2,400 people who were diagnosed in Ghana, females recorded 65 percent, out of that number. Out of the total number of females, 36 percent were diagnosed with breast cancer cases. Consequently, the figure for Males stood at 35 percent,  with 21 percent being cases of prostate cancer.

The Director of RAMSRI, Prof. Mary Boadu in an interview blamed the situation on inadequate public education. According to her, most cancer victims resort to herbalists who may not know their actual ailments for treatment, before they later report to the hospitals when their conditions have deteriorated. She added that the situation in most cases become unmanageable since it has gotten to its worst stage.

She further called for an equal measure of awareness-creation for cancer as it is with HIV and Malaria. Prof. Boadu finally advised the general public to make it a habit to go for cancer screening for possible early detection in order to help control the menace.

By: Thykingdom Kudesey / Office of Corporate and Public Affairs (OCPA) –  GAEC