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The Regional Cooperative Agreement

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The Regional Cooperative Agreement (RCA) 

            For Research, Development and Training
       Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for
                                 Asia and Pacific

 

The Regional Cooperative Agreement (RCA) is an inter-governmental agreement among countries in the Asia and the Pacific Region. The original RCA was adopted in 1972 under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to promote cooperation with each other and with the IAEA in the peaceful applications of nuclear science and technology, and was extended in 2012 for next five years.  The current RCA extension agreement was adopted by seventeen countries in the Asia and the Pacific region (Australia, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam).

RCA Vision & Mission

RCA Vision
The RCA shall be recognized as an effective partner in providing nuclear technologies that address socio-economic needs and contribute to sustainable development in the region.

RCA Mission

  •      To develop regional networks for exchange of technologies, training and equipment
  •      To identify and implement nuclear technologies for regional needs
  •      To encourage sustainability of nuclear technology capacities in RCA Member States
  •      To coordinate cooperative research in nuclear science and technology
  •      To promote the benefits of nuclear technologies and identify funding mechanisms

>> RCA Projects for 2012-2013 TC Cycle <<

 

What are the IAEA/RCA Projects

 The RCA programme has been successful in creating a sustainable network of scientists, engineers and technologists, who are well trained in the application of nuclear science and technology in the areas of food & agriculture, energy planning, environmental monitoring, human health, industry, radiation protection, research reactor utilization and water resources development. The projects implemented under this programme have resulted in socio-economic benefits to Sri Lanka in the above-mentioned areas as well as the benefits of increased scientific and technical capabilities and capacities.

 

The RCA Programme in 2009/2011 comprised 14 projects, including: 3 projects on Agriculture, 3 projects on Human Health, 3 projects on Industry, 4 projects on Water and Environment and 1 projecton Radiation Protection. All these projects address a national problem common to the region in four thematic areas. Eight projects were implemented by outside organizations such as Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Higher Education, Industrial Technology Institute and Ceylon Petroleum Refinery in collaboration with the AEA. Seven projects were implemented by the AEA in collaboration with relevant outside institutions such as Marine Environment Protection Authority, Central Environmental Authority, Department of Agriculture, Water Recourses Board and National Disaster Management Centre. National Project Coordinator (NPC) and a project team have been appointed for each project. All NPCs need to present the progress of their projects to AEA at the end of each quarter which is a new initiative of the AEA for effective monitoring of project implementation and report to IAEA of the progress.

 

Sri Lanka participated in 24 Regional events in 2011 and total of 34 professionals participated in these events. There were 09 Regional Training Courses/Workshops where 16 participated, 15 Meetings where 18 participated and Sri Lanka received 02 expert services in the areas of Radiation Processing and Non Destructive Testing.

 

 RCA Achievements in Nuclear Technology Applications to Address Regional Needs

 There are numerous ways in ways nuclear technologies are applied to solve every day problems, including meeting human needs, advancing life sciences, benefiting the physical sciences and Radiation protection activities.

Meeting Basic Human Needs

Sri Lanka face enormous constraints in ensuring food security and safety as a developing country in the region. Efforts have been made to address those problems by enhancing Sri Lanka’s capabilities to use nuclear technology in agriculture for improving management of land crop and livestock productivity, food safety and overall quality.

 

To address national food and nutritional security problems mutation breeding techniques have played a significant role by developing new mutant germplasm and mutant varieties. Mutation breeding techniques have played a significant role in addressing food and nutritional security problems by developing new mutant germplasm and mutant varieties. The Horticultural Crop Research & Development Institute (HORDI) in Gannoruwa carried out the RCA project in “ Improvement of Crop Quality and Stress Tolerance for Sustainable Crop Production Using Mutation Techniques and Biotechnology (RAS/5/045)” to improve crop quality and stress tolerance using mutation techniques and biotechnology during 2009-2011.

 

The following are some of the resulting achievements made through this project

 

  • One mutant line for tomato breeding was released for cultivation in 2010 as 'Lanka Cherry' from selected promising lines. This variety is high yielding, good quality, resistant to bacterial vilt, long shelf life and high demand for table purpose, especially for catering services in airlines. Now farmers cultivate this variety in large scale.
  •  
    M 65 was released for cultivation in 2010 as Lanka Cherry

  • Some mutant lines which have drought tolerant characters have been selected for further evaluation. This evaluation is aimed at selecting high yielding, high quality drought tolerant mutant line.
  • Mung bean (green gram) high yielding, high quality and salt tolerant lines were selected for further evaluation. One line with high yielding character is included for National Coordinated Variety Trials for testing the adapt abilities of the line.
      
    Selected line in varietal adaptability trial

  • Development of Rabutan varieties for high yielding, high quality, small seed or seedless dwarf plants. Fifty four mutant plants were selected for further evaluations. Development of Banana varieties with resistant / tolerant to Fusarium wilt disease is in progress.

 

To make use of irradiation for sanitary & phytosanitary purposes by Sri Lanka, including technology transfer from RCA Member States, the RCA project “Novel Applications of Food Irradiation Technology for Improving Socioeconomic Development (RAS/5/046)” and “ Irradiation for Enhanced Sanitary and Phytosanitary Treatment of Regional Products for Export (RAS/5/050)” was implemented.

Irradiation is an effective and safe method for preserving food as it reduces spoilage, improves food hygiene and extends shelf life. Irradiation is also an effective method for quarantine treatment to facilitate international trade. The overall objective of these projects is to focus on the application of technologies related to new uses of irradiation for sanitary and phytosanitory purposes and create awareness of these technologies with the appropriate quarantine and food control authorities.

 The following are some of the resulting achievements made through this project

  • The new Multipurpose Gamma Irradiator Facility (MGIF) is now scheduled in operation in 2013 at Biyagama.
     
     
    Construction in progress
  • The project team who attended regional training courses under these projects were able to identify the international standards as being necessary for implementation in Sri Lanka and how to carry out auditing of an irradiation facility utlizes for food irradiation.

To enhance agricultural production and mitigate environmental pollution using radiation technology RCA project “Radiation Processing of Polymeric Materials for Agricultural Applications and Environmental Remediation” was implemented

 The project team comprising Atomic Energy Authority, Department of Agriculture (Rice Research Development Center-Batalagoda, Regional Rice Research Development Center-Bombuwela, Horticultural Research & Development Institute - Gannoruwa) and Industrial Technology Institute was established.

 The following are some of the resulting achievements made through this project

  • The AEA has produced radiation processed Chitosan as an elicitor/plant growth promoter and a fungicide using waste shrimp shells.
  • Field test trials for fruits, crops and rice were implemented in the above agricultural research institutes.
     

    Disease symptoms of powdery mildew on            Appearance of ripen rambutan fruits of
    leaves and fruits of rambutan.                                       chitosan treatment

Advancing Life Sciences

To improve capability and capacity in medical physics through the establishment of regional approaches on education and training of medical physicists RCA project of “Strengthening Medical Physics through Education and Training (RAS/6/038 )” is implemented.

There is a shortage of medical physicists in Sri Lanka. The delay of recruiting new physicists by the Government, lack of trainers and a proper training center for medical physics have been the reasons. The overall objective of the above project is to improve capability and capacity in medical physics through the establishment of regional approaches on education and training of medical physicists; and to improve and upgrade safe operating practices and technical standards in the region through the establishment of a common quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) programme.  

Ministry of Health appointed a Senior Medical Physicist from the Teaching Hospital in Karapitiya to coordinate the project and a project team has been established. Project team members are from Teaching Hospitals in Karapitiya, kandy and Jaffna, Cancer Institute, Maharagama and Post Graduate Institute of Peradiniya.

 

The following are some of the resulting achievements made through this project

  • Senior physicists received training through regional training courses and workshops organized by RAS/6/038 and
  • An IAEA expert visited relevant institutions to review present status of Medical Physics cist

To upgrade the knowledge & skills of radiation oncologists and medical physicists in “ Application of High-Precision 3D Radiotherapy for Predominant Cancers in the RCA region (RAS/6/048)” RCA project has contribute to training of radiation oncologist and medical physicists   in Sri Lanka

 

       To minimize the Cancer risk as Cancer is a major health burden in the RCA region, RCA project “Improvement of Image Based Radiation Therapy for Common Cancers in the RCA Region (RAS/6/049)” is implemented. Cancer is projected to increase significantly over the coming decades, as life expectancy improves, communicable diseases are controlled and health transition occurs. The overall objective of these projects is to improve the knowledge and skills of radiation oncologists and medical physicists in 3D conformal radiotherapy for the predominant cancers by implementing relevant IAEA documents and improve the quality of the radiotherapy in the country.

 

The following are some of the resulting achievements made through this project

  • Consultants, trainees, Physicists and RTTs were updated and there is atechnology transfer.
  • The Cancer Hospital received an opportunity to get the IAEA support through RCA to develop skills and the level of training.
  • There is an economical benefit to the country, cost saving on training, better utilizing of available facilities, and more patients getting up to date quality treatment resulting in better cure rates, costin avoiding prolonged treatment with poor results due to older methods and Quality assurance of equipment and of procedures.

 To improve patients' prognosis and quality-of-life (QOL) through the more effective and precise diagnostic techniques that come from the clinical application of PET technology is advised by RCA project “ Strengthening Clinical Applications of PET in RCA Member States (RAS/6/049)”.

Nuclear Medicine Unit of the University of Peradeniya coordinates the project.

The following are some of the resulting achievements made through this project

  • Project team members received training in PET/CT to acquire more experience and knowledge on the subject for the operation of a future PET centre in Sri Lanka

 

Benefiting from Physical Sciences

To improve capability to apply and routinely use advanced Industrial Radiography and Tomography Techniques to improve production quality and safety of industrial systems RCA project “Applications of advanced Industrial Radiography and Tomography in Industry and Civil Engineering (RAS/8/110)” is implemented. The AEA has appointed project team.

The following are some of the resulting achievements made through this project

  • The Project team members were trained through regional training courses.
  • National training courses in industrial radiography are conducted.
  • A project has been initiated to establish a National Centre for NDT using Government funds to acquire necessary equipment and promote applications of industrial radiography and tomography techniques.

 

 

 

வெள்ளிக்கிழமை, 17 மே 2013 09:59 அன்று இறுதியாக இற்றை செய்யப்பட்டது