Mogae tours International Atomic Energy Agency centre
28 June, 2007
VIENNA – The Nuclear Technology Centre at Seibersdorf outside Vienna in Austria otherwise known as the International Atomic Energy Agency looks like any research centre.
But the inside is extra-ordinary. It is no wonder some in President Festus Mogaes entourage declined to enter the facility during a visit on Tuesday fearing radiation exposure. But safety was guaranteed.
Messers Busch Petersen and Chikelu Mba who heads the Food Agricultural Organisation and the Agricultural Biotechnology Laboratory, respectifully, took Mr Mogae through various stages of the laboratories explaining the operations and their relationship with member countries. Mr Mogae heard of the technique used in tracing radiation activity.
He was told that inpectors take samples and smears from nuclear facilities, as well as environmental samples of water, soil and vegetation to search for traces of actinides indicating the presence and operation of an undeclared unclear installation in the vicinity.
He was told that there was the urgent need for developing countries to have trained and skilled personnel in nuclear science.
Officials also briefed Mr Mogae on plant breeding where induced mutations are used to improve food security and cash crops in member states.
Mr Mogae was informed that the agency had nothing to do with genetically modified food.
He was told that the focus was on developing, adapting and disseminating appropriate methodologies for enhancing effeciency in the induction, detection and evaluation of mutation events using a range of [continue reading]