Construction of storage facility for disused, but still harmful radio-active sources in Zimbabwe nears completion. Minister of State in Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s office Davis Marapira announced and said that the project is expected to be complete in the next 12 months.
“There is excellent progress from what we got from the contractor here. The process is actually 90% complete, but there is an administration block which needs to be done within the next 12 months so that everyone is here to make sure that all the radio-active processes are done properly through proper structures,” said Minister Marapira.
Radio active facility
The structure model of facility being constructed at a cost of US $7m by Zimbabwe National Army Construction Regiment (ZNACR), was locally designed by an engineer from the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry and is under the supervision of International Automatic Energy to meets the international standards required.
According to Dr Nthokozo Ndlovu Chairperson of Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe (RPAZ), international standards require all radio-active sources to be repatriated to the country of origin when they are no longer effective for use. This ensures there are no chances of radiation exposure to people or the environment.
Once complete, the facility which is located in Hatcliffe, is expected to reduce threats to people’s health, the environment and security posed by disused radio-active sources that may not have been taken back to their countries of origin.
“The building is a very crucial as all toxic sources will be stored before being sent back to the manufacturers. The locally designed structure is unique and first in Zimbabwe and will go a long way in making in making sure the environment is safe,” said the project Heading Architect Mkhululi Nkomo.
Radiation exposure can cause acute health effects such as skin burns and acute radiation syndrome also known as radiation sickness. It can also result in long-term health effects such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Radio-active sources are mostly used by manufacturing companies.