GAEC HOLDS WORKSHOP FOR RADIOGRAPHERS AND X-RAY TECHNICIANS

The Radiation Protection Institute (RPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) held a five-day training workshop from September 27 to October 1, 2021, for Radiographers and X-ray Technicians in radiation protection and safety.

The objective of the workshop was to equip Radiographers and X-ray Technicians with the techniques of dealing with risks associated with excessive radiation exposure and update practitioners on the right protocols and procedures when performing such radiographic procedures.

Deputy Director of RPI, Dr. Joseph K. Amoako (Standing), giving the keynote address at the workshop.

Facilitators took the participants through topics including Occupational Radiation Protection, National Regulatory Requirements for Control of Radiation Sources, Quality Management System of Radiological Facilities and Activities, Safety and Security of Radiation Sources, Radioactive Waste Management, Radiation Protection in Diagnostic Radiology, Patient Dose Assessment & Image Quality, Radiation Protection in Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Safety, among others.

Addressing the participants at the workshop, the Director General of GAEC, Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Director of RPI, Dr. Joseph K. Amoako said that the evolving nature of medicine with so many advancements in technology has compelled the continuous training of Radiographers to equip them with the necessary knowledge in radiation protection and safety.

He, therefore, noted that as part of efforts to enhance the capacity and ensure the intelligibility of Radiographers in modern medicine, the RPI as a licensed Technical Service Organization (TSO) has been given the authority to provide technical and training services to personnel in medical, industrial and research radiation activities in Ghana.

“RPI is now positioned to provide scientific, technical support and training in Health Physics, including Occupational Radiation Protection, Public Exposure, Nuclear Safety and Security as well as Radioactive Waste Management. It also undertakes research, development and technical training services in Non–ionizing radiation protection” he said.

Prof. Botwe urged the participants to avail themselves to the training so that they can be fully acquaint themselves with the current and relevant issues of radiation protection and safety in medicine.

“It is my fervent hope that the objectives of this training course will be fully achieved by the end of the training. You will be taken through an elaborate syllabus in radiation protection and safety and also given a hands-on training at our Personnel Dosimetry Laboratory and Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratory. You will be also be provided with a GAEC Ionizing Radiation Safety Training Manual” he added.

Speaking on the sidelines of the programme, the Manager in charge of training at RPI, Dr. Stephen Inkoom, said that the hands-on training sessions would be given to the participants at selected facilities including laboratories of GAEC and the University of Ghana Medical Center.

“We will take our participants to the X-ray and Imaging Departments so that the main parameters which have implications for patient dose will be exposed to them. Parameters such as the choice of kVp and mAs which have implications for patient dose will be looked at, because for any medical exposure, the first thing is justification by a physician, then the Imaging Technologist or Radiographer would have to carry out the exposure”, he added.

Dr. Inkoom indicated that this years Training Course has been granted ten (10) Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points by the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC), Ghana.

The participants were from the Ghana Health Service, Regional and District Hospitals across Ghana, Specialist Hospitals, and Private Diagnostic and Imaging Centers, and a foreign participant from Swaziland among others.

By: CPRC, CCD, GAEC

 

MEDICAL PHYSICISTS COMPLETE CLINICAL TRAINING IN DIAGNOSTIC RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE AT GAEC

Nine Medical Physicists have completed a six-month fellowship programme in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in Accra.

The participants were from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, and the programme was under the tutelage of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of GAEC with sponsorship from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Addressing the fellows at a closing ceremony in Accra, the Director-General of the GAEC, Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, said Medical Physicists are an important component of the entire radiotherapy and nuclear medicine ecosystem.

Prof Nyarko explained that Medical Physics deals with the application of physical principles to diagnose and treat human diseases and the branches of medical physics include, therapeutic medical physics, diagnostic medical physics, medical nuclear physics, and medical health physics.

He explained that Medical Physicists provide essential radiation protection and radiation safety services, plan patients’ radiation treatment using either external radiation beams or internally placed radioactive sources, and analyze nuclear medical image data to determine important physiological variables such as metabolic rates and blood flow.

Prof. Nyarko mentioned that the IAEA and the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development, and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) have made a conscious effort to develop African experts in the field of nuclear science by hosting training sessions in Africa.

“It is our duty to ensure that our continent is recognized in the field of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. Therefore, I am encouraging all fellows to go back to their respective countries and share their knowledge with their people. Contribute to the development of Africa by putting your expertise and skills to work for your country,” he said.

The Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI), Prof Mary Boadu, said that the training has been rigorous because the facilitators ensured that all modules in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine were covered.

“I believe that good and reasonable knowledge and skills have been impacted into the fellows. I will like to encourage you to endeavor to implement as soon as possible the skills that have been impacted into you upon your return to your country” she added.

In a short statement, the Fellowship Coordinator, Mr. Theophilus Sackey, mentioned that the objective of the training was to help fill the huge gap of non-availability of clinically trained medical physicists in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine in Africa.

He further noted that although the fellows experienced a few challenges, the training programme has largely been a success.

“I am particularly happy with the frank and open manner in which we discussed and overcame the challenges that we faced. I encourage you to make use of the numerous networks that you have established here in Ghana to the benefit of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine in your respective countries” he added.

The nine fellows and training facilitators from RAMSRI were presented with certificates for their participation.

By: CPRC, CCD, GAEC

Ghana’s Nuclear Power Project estimated to generate $1.2 billion for local industries – GAEC Boss

The Director-General of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, has said that Ghana’s Nuclear Power Programme (NPP) is estimated to generate US$1.2 billion through local industry participation during its implementation.

Speaking at the 4th edition of the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition in Accra, the Director-General said the US$1.2 billion is a projection based on a 1000MW nuclear power plant construction which is exclusive of the benefits that will be accrued when the nuclear power plant becomes operational.

Prof. Nyarko who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) and the Board Chair of the Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG), explained, that industrial involvement is one of the 19 infrastructure issues of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommended milestone approach to develop a nuclear power programme. He added that a newcomer country is expected to generate at least 20 percent local content and local participation in the nuclear power project.

Director-General of Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC), Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko (Standing), delivering a speech at the Summit.

In leading participants to appreciate the financial benefits to the local industry, Prof. Nyarko explained that if one considers a US$6 billion nuclear power project, 20 percent is very significant and would be a huge boost to the local industry.

“In the IAEA approach of a newcomer country undertaking nuclear power programme, there are 19 infrastructure issues, and one of the infrastructure issues is industrial involvement. “And so, if we are talking about an industry that is going to cost about $6 billion, you can estimate how much benefits Ghanaian local industries will derive from the programme,” he said.

He cautioned, however, that the country’s ability to fully participate would depend on the capacity of the local industry. He, therefore, called for the deepening of the partnership between the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana Nuclear Power Programme Organization (GNPPO) to prevent the reliance on foreign companies for goods and services to the nuclear power project.

“Once Ghana is on the path of adding nuclear power to its energy generation mix, it is essential that the capacity of Ghanaian owned industries is built so that they do not lose out,” he added. When it comes to nuclear, some standards and specifications must be met, and so, local industries must be well equipped to benefit from the implementation of the nuclear power project,” he said.

By CPRC/CCD

Electricity from Ghana’s Nuclear Power Programme to cost 5 to 8 cents per kWh

A pre-feasibility study on electricity generation from Ghana’s Nuclear Power Programme (NPP) is estimated to cost 5 to 8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

The Director of Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, Dr. Seth Kofi Debrah, announced this at the 4th edition of the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition in Accra, last Thursday, where he delivered a presentation on behalf of the Nuclear Power Ghana (NPG).

He explained that nuclear power is an economic electricity-generation source because of its low levelized cost, low operating cost, and most significantly, relatively stable fuel regime.

Dr. Debrah explained further that nuclear power holds the key to reducing the overall electricity tariff in the country and ensuring a reliable power supply, which would give Ghanaian businesses the impetus to be very competitive. “Other countries spend less than 20 percent on electricity to produce goods and services whereas Ghanaian industries spend close to 40 percent of production cost on electricity. This makes Ghanaian goods and services relatively expensive,” he lamented.

He indicated that other countries have used nuclear technology to push their industrialisation agenda and have developed. He insisted that the time has come to focus on and chart the path of nuclear power as it has a lot of potentials and a competitive edge.

“We have some energy generation potentials in the areas of solar, wind, and a number of hydro potential sites, with a single maximum site capacity of about 100MW. There are others we have to look at, and that is, nuclear. Other countries have used this nuclear technology to develop, push their industrialization agenda, while providing well paid and secured jobs,” he said.

Dr. Debrah indicated that the implementation of the Nuclear Power Programme and project would generate a lot of local content and local participation in the areas of engineering, manufacturing, civil construction and assembly services, operation and maintenance, and technical support services, among others.

He further argued that nuclear is not only reliable and affordable; it is also about the enormous opportunities it provides.

“We are not just talking about the nuclear power plant and the pricing, we are talking about opportunities it will provide to Ghanaian industries and the benefits to the citizenry,” he added.

Dr. Debrah also noted that with the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), it is important Ghanaian industries properly position themselves in order to take full advantage of the nuclear power project.

Dr. Debrah said the objective of the Nuclear Power Project is to support the overall economic and industrial transformation as a major driver and also to promote Ghana as a sub-regional energy hub.

With respect to the progress made, he also disclosed that Ghana had completed phase one of the three-phase Nuclear Power Programme and has submitted a Programme Comprehensive Report (PCR) to the seat of government.

By CPRC/CCD

 

 

GAEC participates in Open-Day exhibition of 2021 Civil Service Week Celebration

The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) on Wednesday participated in the open-day exhibition of the 2021 Civil Service Week Celebration in Accra to showcase its scientific activities and research initiatives.

Some of the activities and initiatives exhibited include the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to control and eradicate mosquitoes as well as fall armyworm and fruit flies that are causing damage to maize crops and mangoes, respectively.

The rest are nuclear applications in medicine, nuclear power generation, water resources management, construction, and other industrial support techniques.

The Acting Director of the Commercialization and Communication Director (CCD), Mrs. Sheila Frimpong, said participating in the exhibition was an opportunity to showcase some of the Commission’s nuclear technologies and other scientific endeavors which are addressing societal problems.

Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Hon. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie (second right), at the exhibition stand of GAEC during the Civil Service Week Celebration

“The open day is an opportunity to tell the world, the great things our Scientists are doing to improve the lives of Ghanaians. It is also an opportunity to reach out to our key stakeholders and the general public who are looking for solution-driven research and other technologies,” she remarked.

Some of the special guests that visited the GAEC’s stand are the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI), Hon. Dr. Kwaku Afriyie and the Chief Director of MESTI, Cynthia Asare Bediako.

At the stand, also, was the Chief Director of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service (OHCS), Mr. Bernard Brocke. He enjoined the Commission to promote and make known its scientific activities.

“I thought you were only into nuclear power. I did not know you had done these great works in agriculture, among others. Please, let us hear of you more,” he noted.

Interacting with guests and visitors on the scientific endeavors of the Commission at its stand were Research Scientists and Technologists drawn from the National Nuclear Research Institute (NNRI), Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), Radiation Protection Institute (RPI), Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) and Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI). They are Messrs. Daniel Adjei, Ebenezer Kondo, Elikem Kwaku Ahialey, Francis Aryeequaye, and Lawrence Akono Sarsah.

By CPRC/CCD