Vienna, Austria – For one week, April 24-29, 2017, two representatives of Palau Government attended a workshop in Vienna, Austria to design and develop a project on Radiation Safety for Palau.  The project will involve regulatory safety infrastructure, radiological protection in occupational exposure, and radiological protection in medical exposure.  These three thematic areas are among the core values of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which Palau became a member of in 2007.

[restrict]  Dr. Selaima V. Lalabalavu, Internal Medicine Doctor with the Ministry of Health and Ms. Roxanne Siual Blesam, Executive Officer for the Environmental Quality Protection Board designed this national project which is now ready for review and endorsement from the Ministry of State who is serving as the National Liaison Officer of Palau to IAEA.

Through this project, the IAEA will be providing technical assistance to Palau in the form of national training workshops, long term mentorship, procurement of equipment, experts to come to Palau to provide necessary assistance, as well as our national staff going to countries to observe work processes in radiation protection.  Also, through this project, there will be many other opportunities to build our capacity and implement critical activities in our country to ensure that we have a strong regulatory infrastructure, occupational workers are protected from radioactive sources that are part of their line of work, and more importantly, patients are protected from the effects of radioactive ionizing sources, which are CT Scans and X-rays at the health sectors in Palau.  The total cost of this project will be $300,000 USD.  The government of Palau would place a big role in this project by ensuring that relevant budget is made available to support the regulatory body who will overseeing radiation safety in Palau and that relevant staff are made available for the trainings.

Once the Ministry of State endorses this project by May 15, 2017, this project will begin to roll out in 2018. [/restrict]

Palau Team with IAEA Consultants. L-R:  Oscar Acuna, IAEA Director of Technical Cooperation Program, Ali Boussaha, IAEA Technical Expert, Ms. Blesam, Dr. Lalabalavu, Mr. Reuben from PNG, Mr. Okyar and Mr. Holmberg, IAEA Technical Officers.