[ Position Paper ]


Published on

Published in: Business, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

[ Position Paper ]

  1. 1. [Position Paper] RCA Regional Office’s Report to Fulfill its Mandate in the Past Year and The Office’s View on RCA Programs including RCA Management With Particular Emphasis on the Next Cycle Projects 1. Introduction The RCA Member States expect that the RCA Regional Office (RCA RO) will be able to move forward with the mandate given to the Office at its inception in March 2002. The main mandate is on the one hand to increase RCA awareness to the RCA stakeholders including the public and on the other to promote additional partnership for RCA projects. Also, the RCA Member States and the IAEA equally expect that the RCA RO could help in the management of the RCA programme, mainly through participating in the upstream work for future project formulation. To this effect, the Agency encouraged the RCA RO, although it is a junior partner, to participate in the upstream work of the future RCA program, particularly in the 2005-06 projects formulation. It was suggested that the RCA RO later on could also help the Member States and the Agency with the remainder of the project management cycle, i.e., implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Outsourcing of the RCA events is another facet that the Agency encourages the RCA RO to undertake. This Position Paper is prepared to address the RCA RO’s efforts to fulfill the mandate of the past year as well as a view on how the Office could help in the management of the RCA program, particularly with regard to the 2005-06 upstream works. This Paper does not cover the administrative part of the RCA RO such as issues on the legal provisions and the functioning of the Advisory Committee (interim). This will be reported separately to the National RCA Representatives meeting. 1
  2. 2. 2. Past Year Activities The RCA RO, during the first year, the interim operational period, in do as well as in name, has made every possible effort to fulfill the mandate. In order to increase the RCA profile to the RCA stakeholders including the public and potential partners, the RCA RO has initiated various programs. Promoting a better understanding of the RCA to the target audience was its main endeavor. Among various RCA profile increase programs, operation of the RCA RO Internet homepage was particularly stressed. The RCA RO believes that information flow between the RCA and its potential stakeholders including international organizations has been improved substantially through providing necessary information in a timely manner and through the linkage of their homepages with the RCA RO’s homepage. In 2001, the RCA RO published the ‘RCA Annual Report’ with main focus on the RCA success stories in 2001. This elaborated Annual Report has been used for increasing the RCA awareness to the potential RCA partners. The Regional Office proactively sought possible project partners. One promising development was the cooperation with UNESCAP. An MOU that will focus on the cooperation between the UNESCAP and the RCA on the hazardous waste management will be drafted soon. Meanwhile, contacts with other international organizations in an effort to seek possible funding for RCA projects have been generally met with constraints. However, since the Office is already in Korea, although it is in the interim operational period, the Office could explore several fund sources from the host country. As for the funds available, the Office could initiate several new programs for the benefit of the Member States. They are the RCA Post-doctoral Fellowship Training Program and RCA Master’s Degree Courses. In 2002, under the RCA Post-doc Fellowship Training Program, a total of 19 post-doc fellows from Member States have been attached to Korea’s major national nuclear R & D projects. For the Master’s Degree Course, only 1 fellow has participated. But, in 2003, the number will increase. In addition to these two new initiatives, another new program will be carried out annually beginning from the latter part of 2003. It is the RCA Medical Internship 2
  3. 3. Training Program. Total annual number of participants in this program will be 15 fellows. Through the initiation of these new programs, the Regional Office believes it can contribute to the Member States’ endeavors to cultivate necessary nuclear manpower as well as to preserve nuclear knowledge for future needs. 3. Financial Aspect of the RCA RO The RCA RO is confident that the Korean government’s commitment to contribute financially in the operation and management of the Office will continue. The total expenses in 2002 for the Office was approximately USD 0.5 million including the cost for the Director (interim). As of May 2003, the total staff members of the RCA RO are 6 including the Director. Besides this direct financial contribution by the host government for the operation of the RCA RO, the Korean government additionally contributed approximately USD 0.5 million to the new programs initiated by the RCA RO. The financial contribution of the Korean government thus far ranges up to approximately USD 1 million. It is foreseen that this contribution will increase substantially due to the expansion of staff numbers and the program of the RCA RO. 4. RCA RO’s View on the Current RCA Management It is noted that in an effort to upgrade and improve RCA management, several new initiatives have been introduced into the RCA since 1999. The new initiatives include the introduction of Thematic Sectors, Lead Country, Two-year Program Cycle, RRUs, and the opening of the RCA RO. In addition, the Agency strongly envisaged that the Member States would apply the Agency’s Central Criteria to the project proposal. The Agency also encouraged the Member States to undertake outsourcing activities when implementing RCA events. The RCA RO believes that these new initiatives were indeed valuable measures to encourage the increase of RCA ownership by the Member States. However, the RCA RO also considers that with a little more supplement, the RCA can be even more effectively managed. (Central Criteria) In the past, project proposals were required to meet the Agency’s model project criteria. In the current project cycles, more emphasis is placed on the central criterion when the projects are approved. The RCA RO believes that such 3
  4. 4. requirements are essential for improving the quality of the RCA projects thus create a more practical socio-economic impact on the region. Therefore, the RCA RO believes that the application of the current central criteria needs to be continued. But, since each Member State has different national priorities and different requirements, generally, it could be difficult to develop a project that could demonstrate equally applicable government commitments for the participating Member States. Therefore, more harmonized central criteria could be considered and applied. (Lead Country) The introduction of the Lead Country concept to the RCA thematic sectors was a good vehicle to implement the projects effectively. However, the RCA RO believes that a more dedicated role by the Lead Country is required. This will produce a more positive project formulation and implementation. Adequate background work and studies by the Lead Countries when developing new projects is needed. Proper and efficient communication between the Lead Country Coordinators and project counterparts should be strengthened. At the same time, communication between the Lead Country Coordinator and the National RCA Representative of the respective Lead Country should be made. This will produce orchestrated views on the new project proposal by the Lead Country Coordinators, project counterparts and the National RCA Representatives. Evaluation of the performance of the Lead Countries is as important as the selection and designation of the Lead Countries. At present, the project committee is responsible for the evaluation of performance of the respective Lead Country and reports to the National RCA Representatives meeting for consideration and actions. The RCA RO hopes it can contribute in the designing of the evaluation guidelines, if the Member States agree. (Two-year Program Cycle) As this decision was made by the IAEA and agreed by the Member States, only they can modify the cycle duration, if there is a need. The RCA RO view is that RCA projects can be formulated beyond the 2-year cycle, if this is appropriate and demanded by the projects. This will be particularly so for the extended and continuation projects that span more than the 2-year cycle. In order to enable extended project formulation, it is hoped that delegates from the RCA Member States could address this matter at the Agency’s policy level meetings, such as the Board of Governors meeting. 4
  5. 5. (RRUs) The RCA RO shares the same view as the Member States that the RRUs are excellent vehicles not only for effective implementation of the RCA projects but also for increasing RCA ownership by the Member States. However, the RCA RO also shares the view with the Member States that the role of the functions of the currently designated RRUs should be re-examined so more effectiveness can be achieved. Establishment of an RRU database would greatly contribute to the enhanced utilization of the RRUs. It was good to learn that the establishment of the RRU database has already been initiated. But, the database should be regularly upgraded with dedicated effort. The database can be effectively used for promoting the RCA among the end- users, the public and potential partners. RCA RO hopes to contribute in this endeavor, particularly through its RCA information flow scheme. (Research component in the RCA) It cannot be overlooked that research is one of the important components of the RCA. “Without research, there is no development”. “Without development, no utilization. Without utilization, no benefit.” RCA RO believes these sequences are true. Research is one of the RCA’s mandates (research, development and training in nuclear science and technology….). Therefore, the RCA RO’s view is that the RCA should accommodate research component in the program. Research within the RCA can contribute to the viability of RCA program, for example, new problems created can be solved using techniques through CRPs, and the results can be transferred to other Member States. Therefore, appropriate coordination with other CRPs is needed, when required. Research work may not be funded by the Agency’s TC. But, it is noted that the TC in some cases is funding certain research projects such as nuclear medicine. Otherwise, the research can be funded by other organizations. The RCA RO sincerely hopes that the Post-doc Fellowship Training Program, the Nuclear Energy Master’s Degree Courses, and the Nuclear Medicine Internship Training Program can be accommodated into each relevant thematic project as a part of the project and as a backup for the research and training plan. For example, a post-doc fellow training program in the field of radiation protection can be accommodated into the RCA Radiation Protection sector. With this amalgamation, the RCA RO believes that a more successful outcome can be achieved. To this effect, the RCA RO will make the initial contact with the LCCs for its accommodation into each thematic sector. 5. RCA RO can help MSs and LCs in the Upstream Work 5
  6. 6. One of the missions given to the RCA RO is to assist the Member States in formulating new project proposals. In fact, the Agency and the Member States have strongly requested the RCA RO to participate in the upstream work for future RCA projects, particularly in the 205-06 projects formulation. The RCA RO has also been requested to become involve in project implementation as much as possible. The Agency requested the RCA RO to undertake outsourcing of RCA events. The RCA RO believes that this would be a good opportunity to help in formulating RCA programs. As part of the upstream work for future RCA programs, the RCA RO prepared this ‘Position Paper’ to embrace its views, suggestions and recommendations. The RCA RO hopes the comments and recommendations will be useful for the Member States, particularly for Lead Countries when formulating future RCA programs. The RCA RO hopes the recommendations will serve as a good catalyst for enhancing RCA programs. Also, it is hoped that the comments and recommendations will fully reflect the regional aspects of the cooperative programs. In order to prepare the recommendations, the RCA RO recently formed the ‘Technical Advisory Committee’. The Committee is comprised of 8 members representing each thematic sector. The Committee was requested to best reflect the region’s common needs. The draft recommendations were reviewed by other Korean expert groups and again reviewed by international experts in May 2003. Recommendations were made for each thematic sector. It is greatly hoped that the Member States, particularly the Lead Countries will look kindly at the suggestions made by the RCA RO and consider them for inclusion in the next RCA project formulation. The RCA RO hopes to contribute to the implementation of some of the new suggestions when adopted. 1) Agriculture (Suggestion for New Proposals) - Public acceptance of irradiated food is one of the most important tasks that RCA should emphasize. Public information experts are requested to participate in the food irradiation project. It is hoped that the Agency’s public information division will support this endeavor. - Commercial use of FMD antigen and antibody ELISA kits should be encouraged when regionally produced. The Agency’s support to obtain internationally acceptable 6
  7. 7. authorization is needed. Production of classical swine fever (CSF) antigen and antibody ELISA reagent kits is also important for immediate use. - Symbiotic use of excess heat from power plants, particularly nuclear power plants, for plant cultivation and fishery farms should be encouraged. Development of radiation induced mutation-breeding technology for cash crops such as herbs and flowering plants are requested for consideration. It is also suggested that the title of this sector (area) should be changed to Food & Agriculture. 2) Health (Suggestion for New Proposals) - Application of PET (Positron Emission Topography) technology for better diagnosis and treatment of malignance tumors - Development of therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals and dosimetry-based technology with particular attention to the use of Ho-166 chitosan as a therapeutic tool - Development of molecular nuclear medicine technology for gene therapy with particular stress on oligonucleotide labeled radio-nuclides such as I-125. In addition, brachytherapy treatment of cervical cancer should be strengthened in view of the maximum application of LDR and HDR treatment protocols. Also, an Asian School of Nuclear Medicine is suggested. The School would mainly stress the development of a uniformed protocol for nuclear medicine and the training necessary for nuclear medicine professionals can be carried out by e-learning. Meanwhile, transfer of mothballed nuclear medicine and radiation oncology equipment from advanced countries to developing countries is recommended. This project can also be carried out through bi-lateral cooperation. However, regional level cooperation is much more desirable. 3) Industry (Suggestion for New Proposals) - Development of user-friendly (small, light, automatic, wireless…) equipment for radiotracer purpose 7
  8. 8. - Development of tomography technology for NDT. In addition, international harmonization and mutual recognition of the NDT certificate is recommended for emphasizes. 4) Environment (Suggestion for New Proposals) - Use of EB technology for hazardous waste treatment - Use of EB technology for preventing diffusion of red tide and the HAB phenomena. It is noted that in the past the RCA has much emphasized on the identification of source terms using a radiotracer. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that emphasis should be placed on the practical application of nuclear techniques to solve the currently impending environmental problems the region faces. 5) Energy/Research Reactor The RCA RO believes that the establishment of quantitative indicators for sustainable energy development is important. This issue was discussed at the last project formulation meeting and addressed with the same recommendation. As for the research reactor sector, the RCA RO believes that more emphasis should be placed on radioisotope production. In line with this importance, it was suggested that the title of this sector should be changed to Research Reactor & RI Production. Establishment of an RI back-up supply system among the RCA Member States is also strongly recommended. It was also suggested that the research reactor sector should also embrace decontamination and decommissioning components for the current as well as future needs. 6) Radiation Protection (Suggestion for New Proposals) - Assessing the function of regulatory bodies - Emergency preparedness particularly in relation to lost and misplaced sources 8
  9. 9. In addition to the new proposals, it is strongly recommended that the effort to harmonize radiation protection should be continued. Also, the training and re-training of the radiation workers is important. 7) ENO (Suggestion for New Proposals) - Information program for RCA related persons, particularly event participants in order to promote a better understanding of the RCA - Strengthened information networking with RCA related organizations including international organizations and the industry The function of the RCA Regional Homepage under the ENO scheme should be strengthened more. This will contribute to a better RCA information flow thus increases public awareness about the RCA and promote RCA viability. An orchestrated effort should be made among the RCA Regional Homepage, RCA Regional Office Homepage and IAEA/RCA – TC Homepage. The e-learning program (cyber education) should be enhanced within the framework of the ENO. Internet tele-centers for educational purpose should be established in RCA Member States so that the centers can receive and transfer the curriculum effectively. The RCA RO can help in the establishment of tele-centers by providing equipment and experts. It is suggested that the current ENO component could in the future constitute a separate sector based on the TCDC and could embrace all IT based e-learning projects within the RCA. 6. RCA Visions Back in 1997, at the National RCA Representatives meeting in Yangon, Myanmar, the RCA Vision Statement was adopted. Based on this Vision, several new initiatives to increase RCA ownership by the Member States have been taken. Some of the most significant were the adoption of the RCA Operating Rules and Guidelines. The establishment of the RCA RO was also a significant step. RCA visions began to be realized. But, this is still a far cry from its ultimate goal. The goal of the RCA can be 9
  10. 10. said to be the sustainable development and self-reliance of the RCA programs. The 21st century requires a more vivid vision that reflects the rapidly changing political, economical, social and even technological situation in our everyday life. The RCA RO believes that to achieve the RCA’s vision successfully under this situation, the RCA’s mission should be implemented as follows: The RCA RO believes that the RCA programs should be focused on solutions for the problems that the RCA region faces instead of the traditional capability-building activities. The RCA programs should be competitive in the regional or international technology market. The technology that the RCA develops should be fully utilized by the end-users. In this regard, the RCA RO believes that the RCA should introduce a business development strategy that will enable direct links between the RCA and the end-users. Development of user-friendly technology and one-to-a customer policy would help the RCA to achieve sustainable development and self-reliance. The RCA RO hopes to assist the Member States in establishing end-user development units. The RCA RO hopes to help in the construction and operation of business development infrastructures in the Member States. The RCA RO has a plan to organize an expert group that will function for this purpose. At the same time, the RCA RO plans to form a task group that will devise ways to raise RCA funds. The RCA RO hopes that the task group work will be completed before the Office enters its normal functions after the interim operation phase. 7. The Future of RCA RO The present interim operation of the RCA RO will end in March 2004. If legal provisions for the establishment and operation of the RCA RO are not completed by that time, the interim operational period can be extended for another year, i.e., March 2005. The RCA RO Advisory Committee (interim) will discuss this matter and will report to the next National RCA Representatives meeting for decision. The RCA RO hopes the Office will have legal entity status to represent the Member States before RCA partners. The current legal provision is that the Member States can provide an adoption of a Resolution by the meeting of the National RCA Representatives. The RCA RO hopes this Resolution will have the same legal effectiveness as an agreement. 10
  11. 11. The Agency will keep functioning as the secretariat of the RCA as described in the RCA Agreement. The RCA RO hopes to assist in some of the administrative works of the Agency. The RCA RO hopes to actively participate in the upstream work of the RCA program with the Member States, particularly with the Lead Countries. By undertaking outsourcing work of the RCA events on behalf of the Agency, the RCA RO, when entering into normal functions, could assist with the Agency. However, the RCA RO’s main functions remain its mandate. 11